Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard is encountering obstacles from regulators worldwide, with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) emerging as a prominent critic. The FTC has reportedly filed for an injunction today (June 12) to halt the deal until its official judgment later this year.
The acquisition, announced by Microsoft last year, was aimed at strengthening its Xbox and PC gaming division, which has faced fierce competition from its rival, Sony. However, concerns about industry consolidation and potential risks for consumers prompted antitrust regulators globally to express reservations. Several investigations into the deal are ongoing, and the U.K. has taken steps to block it, although the decision is currently under appeal.
The FTC, already challenging the acquisition through a lawsuit, is scheduled to have its case heard by an administrative law judge in August. However, the agency is now seeking an injunction against the deal to potentially prevent any harm during the legal process. This move entails asking a judge to pre-judge the likelihood of the lawsuit’s success and assess if harm could occur while the legal process unfolds. CNBC first reported the FTC’s request.