The verdict on Tuesday prevents Microsoft from proceeding with the transaction until the court decides.

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A US federal judge temporarily halted Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover of gaming behemoth Activision Blizzard on Tuesday, a court filling showed.

In his judgement, Judge Edward Davila stated that it “is necessary to maintain the status quo”, while the court considers a longer-term injunction on the purchase, as requested by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulators.”


According to the order, a hearing in San Francisco federal court has been scheduled for June 22 and June 23 to hear evidence in the case.

The decision comes a day after the FTC requested a federal court to halt Microsoft’s billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard while it considered regulatory action.


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“A preliminary injunction is required to… prevent immediate harm.”

“The FTC determines whether “the proposed acquisition violates US antitrust law,” according to the regulator’s filing.

The verdict on Tuesday prevents Microsoft from proceeding with the transaction until the court decides.


The decision would be whether to give the preliminary injunction sought by regulators.

The US government requested the preliminary injunction in the Northern California District Court.


Accelerating The Legal Process

This would help prevent the corporations from finalising the agreement before the July 18 deadline.

An FTC hearing on the merits of the agreement is scheduled for August.

However, a restraining order would prevent the agreement from being implemented before that process is completed.

The California judge would have to agree to halt the transaction after hearing arguments from the FTC about why the takeover is improper and about why Microsoft should proceed.

“We welcome the opportunity to present our case in federal court,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith on Monday.

“We believe that accelerating the legal process in the United States will ultimately result in more market choice and competition,” he said.

Xbox-owner Microsoft made an offer for Activision Blizzard early last year.

They aimed to become the world’s third largest gaming company by revenue, following China’s Tencent and Japan’s Sony.

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While the European Union has approved the transaction, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) banned it in April.

‘Call Of Duty’

They claimed it would hinder competition in cloud gaming.

The FTC filed a lawsuit in December to stop the transaction with Activision Blizzard, the producer of the popular “Call of Duty” video game, citing fears that it would impede competition.

Lina Khan leads the regulator.

Khan is an antitrust researcher who had advocated for the breakup of the largest digital giants before being nominated by President Joe Biden to the role in 2021

Khan has accused Facebook’s parent company, Meta, of suffocating him.

Amazon has faced competition by acquiring companies, and the FTC has conducted inquiries into the company.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice has filed cases alleging that Google violated antitrust rules in both internet search and advertising.


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