FTC loses last-ditch shot at appealing Microsoft Activision Blizzard case, clearing the way for the deal to close in the US

Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 Season 1 Reloaded
(Image credit: Activision)

Update: The United States' 9th circuit has denied the Federal Trade Commission's request for injunctive relief in the Microsoft Activision Blizzard case, clearing the way for the latter's deal to close in the US in the coming days.

After Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, who earlier ruled against the FTC in its bid to file a preliminary injunction against Microsoft's bid to purchase Activision Blizzard, denied the FTC's appeal, a US court has deliver another unequivocal loss to the US federal body. Microsoft is now free to close its Activision buyout once Corley's temporary restraining order expires at 11:59pm PT tonight, after which the company will have until July 18 to do so.

Original story follows... 

The Federal Trade Commission has had its appeal over the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard denied by a court.

As reported by Reuters earlier today on July 14, the FTC has had its appeal to halt the acquisition denied. In fact, it's none other than Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, the same judge who originally ruled against the FTC in its bid to stop the Activision Blizzard acquisition, who's denied this new appeal from the FTC.

"The FTC asks this Court to enjoin the merger at issue pending resolution of the FTC’s appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The motion is denied," Judge Corley wrote in her verdict. It turns out Call of Duty played a major factor in the judge refusing to hear the FTC's appeal in the case.

"Microsoft's acquisition of Activision has been described as the largest in tech history. It deserves scrutiny. That scrutiny has paid off: Microsoft has committed in writing, in public, and in court to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 years on parity with Xbox. It made an agreement with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to Switch. And it entered several agreements to for the first time bring Activision’s content to several cloud gaming services," Corley added.

Microsoft might've been largely mocked earlier this year for the deluge of 10-year deals it signed with just about every competitor on the face of the planet, but those deals have really paid off. They've clearly persuaded Judge Corley that Microsoft plans to honor its commitments to bringing Call of Duty to more platforms and keeping it on PlayStation devices, should the acquisition pass.

It was revealed yesterday that Activision Blizzard is preparing to withdraw from the US stock exchange's top 100 index, indicating the company prepares the acquisition to close very soon. The company is scheduled to be withdrawn on Monday, June 17, a very strong indication Activision Blizzard could become a part of Microsoft in under a week from now.

Only the UK's Competition Markets Authority remains opposed to the acquisition, which could be a major hinderance to the deal. However, the organization has said it's willing to renegotiate with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard if they're willing to discuss and even alter certain details of the planned acquisition.

You can head over to our upcoming Xbox Series X games guide for a look ahead at all the current exclusives Microsoft has in development.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.

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