New FTC schedule likely to delay Microsoft's Activision purchase beyond planned June deadline

Reinhardt charges into battle
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

A newly-published FTC schedule means Microsoft's target of acquiring Activision Blizzard by June might well be missed.

Yesterday on January 10, the FTC published its full scheduling order for the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard case online. The scheduling order reveals that, barring any new setbacks, the FTC won't hold final hearings about the case until later this year on August 2.

Back in November 2022, Activision Blizzard president Bobby Kotick said in an internal email to staff that he was confident the Microsoft acquisition would close by June 2023. This goal apparently came about from Microsoft's current fiscal year ending at the close of June 2023.

At the time, Kotick told staff he wasn't worried about a then-new European Union investigation into the acquisition getting in the way of the June goal. With the FTC's schedule now set to push things back until at least August 2023, it seems Kotick and company have a major obstacle in the way of the initial goal.

Keep in mind that the August 2 date from the FTC merely marks the beginning of hearings into the Microsoft acquisition. As such, it's entirely possible that the hearings, and then the ensuing verdict from the FTC, could potentially take multiple months to complete after August 2.

We'll have to wait and see as to how Microsoft and/or Activision Blizzard respond to what seems like a major setback for their initial timetable for the acquisition.

Previously, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he was "very, very confident" about the deal between the two companies closing without any major concessions or hinderances. 

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.