FTC appeals court decision to block its preliminary injunction against Microsoft and Activision

Robert Collins

The Federal Trade Commission has filed an appeal of the Northern District of California’s recent ruling blocking its preliminary injunction against Microsoft and Activision.

The injunction was meant to prevent the merger between the two companies from proceeding ahead of the FTC’s lawsuit trial set to begin in August. That lawsuit was initiated late last year to block Microsoft from going through with its $68 billion acquisition of the Call of Duty publisher.

The court’s decision to block the preliminary injunction came on Tuesday and was seen as important victory for Microsoft ahead of the deal’s July 18 termination date. Microsoft’s reaction as reported by IGN:

The facts haven’t changed. We’re confident the U.S. will remain among the 39 countries where the merger can close. We look forward to reinforcing the strength of our case in court, again.”

Microsoft Brad Smith FTC Antitrust

Separately Microsoft president Brad Smith spoke on the FTC’s decision to appeal, saying “We’re disappointed that the FTC is continuing to pursue what has become a demonstrably weak case, and we will oppose further efforts to delay the ability to move forward.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft and the CMA have agreed to pause litigation in the former’s appeal of the U.K regulator’s opposition of the deal there. The two parties are endeavoring to find a compromise that will assuage the CMA’s concerns over the cloud gaming market and allow it to reverse its previous decision.