US judge grants FTC request to block Microsoft – Activision deal

US District Court Judge Edward Davila has granted the FTC’s request to temporarily block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, stating that maintaining the current situation is necessary while the complaint is reviewed to potentially issue a preliminary injunction and secure an effective permanent remedy if the FTC succeeds in its ongoing administrative proceeding.

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The US District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Edward Davila, granted the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request to temporarily block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard’s $69 billion deal. FTC claimed in its filing that the acquisition of Activision would reduce competition in the gaming industry and asked the federal judge to temporarily block it. Judge Davila emphasized that temporary restraint is needed to maintain the status quo while the complaint is being reviewed. Judge Davila added that this is important to ensure that the court can take appropriate action if a preliminary injunction is deemed necessary. It is also highlighted the importance of preserving the FTC’s ability to obtain a suitable permanent remedy if it prevails in its ongoing proceeding. Microsoft claimed that the temporary restraint makes sense until a decision is received from the court. An evidential hearing in the administrative proceeding is scheduled for 2 August 2023, and a two-day evidentiary hearing on the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction is scheduled from 22 to 23 June 2023.