(CTN News) – In their latest effort to halt the $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, US antitrust enforcers will contend that a federal judge made an incorrect ruling regarding the deal’s legality under competition law.
The deal, which was initially proposed in January 2022 and marked the largest acquisition in the gaming industry’s history, was finalized by Microsoft on October 13th after receiving approval from British regulators.
The Federal Trade Commission is waiting to argue before a three-judge appeals court panel in California that the lower-court judge imposed an excessively high standard on the agency, effectively demanding proof of anticompetitive behavior, whereas the standard merely requires the deal to raise significant competitive concerns.
Despite facing an uphill battle, as the FTC lost the initial court battle and both the EU and Britain have given their approval to the deal, the commission remains determined in its opposition.
The Biden administration is actively engaged in a legal battle as part of its broader efforts to combat mergers and price increases that negatively impact consumers across various sectors, including pharmaceuticals and air travel.
Furthermore, it is anticipated that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will contend that the judge’s ruling was erroneous as it relied on agreements between Microsoft and its competitors about game distribution as proof that the merger would not have any adverse effects on competition.
The FTC filed a lawsuit in December 2022 to halt the merger. Their argument is centered around the belief that Microsoft would utilize Activision’s popular games to stifle competition in the Xbox console market and gain dominance in the rapidly expanding subscription and cloud gaming industries.
However, a federal judge in California ruled in July that the FTC failed to present a compelling case.
Microsoft is anticipated to counter the FTC’s claims by asserting that the agency has not demonstrated any errors in the judge’s ruling.
Moreover, Microsoft will contend that the FTC has failed to present substantial proof to substantiate the claim that Microsoft had a vested interest in obstructing competing gaming platforms from accessing “Call of Duty.”
The panel of judges assigned to this case consists of Daniel Collins and Danielle Forrest, both nominated by former President Donald Trump, as well as Jennifer Sung, nominated by President Joe Biden.
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This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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