US FTC Moving Forward with In-House Challenge to Microsoft Activision Blizzard Deal

It won't disrupt the ongoing MS Activision deal though.

The US FTC has confirmed to move forward with its in-house challenge to Microsoft Activision Blizzard acquisition deal.

The US Federal Trade Commission’s case will now be heard by its internal administrative law judge in a trial-like process. This happened after the US appeals court’s decision to deny the FTC’s bid to pause the acquisition in July 2023.

Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal is going to push through ahead of the October 18, 2023 deadline after the UK Competition and Markets Authority provisionally approved the deal just recently. This new update from the US FTC will unlikely stop the deal at all. According to Bloomberg, the group will continue to challenge the deal, but it will still push through.

“The FTC continues to believe this deal is a threat to competition,” said US FTC spokesperson Victoria Graham. She said the FTC is placing the issue on the commission’s calendar, but that “our current focus is on the federal appeal process.”

An Activision spokesperson said: “We’re focused on working with Microsoft toward closing. How the FTC uses limited taxpayer dollars is its decision.”

A Microsoft spokesperson also said: “We still anticipate that we will close the transaction by October 18, and we have full confidence in our case and the deal’s benefits to gamers and competition.”