Justice in the United States allowed Microsoft to complete the acquisition of Activision Blizzard after the judgment between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the company that owns the Xbox. Microsoft is still facing an ongoing antitrust lawsuit by the FTC, but Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley heard arguments from both sides and decided to deny the injunction requested by the regulatory agency.
That means Microsoft could buy Activision Blizzard before the July 18 deadline, but only if the company decides to leave the UK or if UK regulators are willing to negotiate another solution. The Competition and Markets Authority blocked the purchase in April, and Microsoft has appealed the decision with a hearing starting on July 28.
In the case of the European Union, the bloc’s regulators gave the go-ahead for the acquisition, so Microsoft could technically do it now without the UK and without an injunction in the US preventing it. It’s a sticky situation, and what will likely happen is that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will have to temporarily extend the deadline of their merger agreement to cover the UK appeals process.
In the case of the FTC, the agency will have the opportunity to appeal Judge Corley’s decision by the end of this week. However, she may decide to drop the case, something she has already done even when the court allowed Meta to buy Within.
Microsoft President Brad Smith published a note on the twitter praising today’s decision.