The FTC is considering appealing the ruling in its lawsuit to temporarily block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision. An anonymous source reports this to Bloomberg. The regulator’s request was rejected by the court on Tuesday.
The FTC has not yet made a final decision, but is ‘leaning towards’ an appeal, writes Bloomberg news agency. An appeal could possibly be filed as early as Wednesday. With Tuesday’s ruling, Microsoft can in principle complete its acquisition from July 15, after the acquisition was temporarily paused pending a ruling. The FTC must request an emergency stay from the appeals court to extend that pause.
American Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ruled in favor of Microsoft in the FTC lawsuit on Tuesday. She stated, among other things, that the FTC has not sufficiently demonstrated that the takeover could disrupt competition. According to the judge, there is therefore no reason to stop the takeover for the time being.
The FTC’s lawsuit revolved around a request for a preliminary injunction from the FTC. The American regulator is currently conducting its own internal case against the takeover, in the hope of blocking the takeover. The first hearings in that case are scheduled for August 2. In the meantime, however, Microsoft may complete the acquisition early. Microsoft and Activision could then be forced to part ways later if the FTC concludes that this is necessary.
The FTC wanted to prevent Microsoft from completing its acquisition prematurely while its own investigation was still ongoing. The requested preliminary injunction would prohibit the tech giant from doing so. That temporary ban has therefore not been imposed by the court. There is therefore a good chance that Microsoft and Activision will want to complete the acquisition quickly. The British regulator CMA previously blocked the takeover, but after Tuesday’s ruling it is negotiating concessions with the two companies.