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Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal has been blocked by the FTC – for now, at least
We'll have to wait a little longer until Microsoft completes its $69bn buyout of Activision Blizzard
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has temporarily blocked Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard after a US federal judge ruled that the deal can’t be completed until the FTC’s preliminary injunction has been approved or not.
The FTC filed for an injunction in December of last year after Microsoft set a deadline of July 18 to complete its $69bn takeover of the Call of Duty publisher. The court is scheduled to hear the FTC’s request on June 22 to 23 (thanks, Financial Times).
Microsoft has since faced stiff opposition from the UK’s competition regulator but has since appealed the CMA’s verdict. Other regulators are on board with Microsoft owning Activision Blizzard, however, including the EU, China, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia. The only outliers remaining are the FTC and CMA.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: FTC blocks Microsoft deal
🙌 The FTC has had a small victory over its opposition to Microsoft’s takeover
🧑⚖️ A judge ruled that the deal can’t be completed until the FTC’s injunction has been addressed
🔜 Microsoft wants to complete its $69bn takeover of Activision Blizzard in July
🙅♂️ Microsoft recently appealed the UK regulator’s verdict after it blocked the deal
Microsoft has already made concessions to address regulators’ concerns, particularly when it comes to Call of Duty and cloud gaming. The company has signed 10-year deals with Nintendo and Nvidia GeForce Now to ensure Call of Duty doesn’t become an exclusive and has offered the same concession to Sony, which it hasn’t signed.
Microsoft has also brought its first-party games to rival cloud streaming services, like Boosteroid, Nivida GeForce Now, and many more. All of this has been done in the hopes that the CMA and FTC will eventually approve the record-breaking deal.
Nvidia GeForce Now will also include the entire PC Game Pass library soon, making it a great alternative to Xbox Cloud Gaming as it offers higher fidelity streaming. Depending on the tier you subscribe to, you can play games at 240fps if you have a compatible display and a fast enough internet connection.
After a strong showing at the Xbox Games Showcase, the weight of the necessity for the Activision Blizzard deal to pass seems to have lessened somewhat. It would obviously be a huge boon for Microsoft to own the publisher before Diablo 4 and other hit games, and even more beneficial for those who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft has already promised that Activision Blizzard’s library of titles will make its way to Game Pass, which means we could see future Call of Duty games be free to members on day one.
If your Game Pass membership has expired, you can save some money with our Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 12 month discount code.
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