Microsoft win FTC court case to buy Activision Blizzard

Microsoft win FTC court case to buy Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard | 343 Industries

Written by 

Joseph Kime


11th Jul 2023 16:11

The FTC has officially failed in its attempts to stall Microsoft in its purchase of Activision Blizzard, marking a historic win for Xbox, reports have concluded.

Cecelia D'Anastasio, a reporter for Bloomberg, revealed the information, announcing that more news is yet to come.

This was, of course, before the Judge's ruling was revealed - and it is very illuminating when it comes to the buyout.

Judge rules that Xbox's big buyout should go ahead

Xbox's advertisment for buying Activision Blizzard when it was first announced.
Click to enlarge
Activision Blizzard

California's Judge Corley made this ruling:

"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.

"This Court’s responsibility in this case is narrow. It is to decide if, notwithstanding these current circumstances, the merger should be halted—perhaps even terminated—pending resolution of the FTC administrative action. For the reasons explained, the Court finds the FTC has not shown a likelihood it will prevail on its claim this particular vertical merger in this specific industry may substantially lessen competition. To the contrary, the record evidence points to more consumer access to Call of Duty and other Activision content. The motion for a preliminary injunction is therefore DENIED."

What happens now with Microsoft's Activision Blizzard buyout?

A squad rushes into battle in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.
Click to enlarge
Infinity Ward

Only the decision from the UK remains, but following this historic win, it's likely that their trepidations will now fold and make way for Xbox to finalise their purchase and welcome Call of DutyOverwatch and more under the banner of Microsoft.

Ultimately, though, Activision Blizzard can close the deal right now and get it all out of the way, but in doing so, they'd have to bow to the UK's wishes and organise for the deal to suit their hopes if the UK is to experience the same experience as the rest of the world when it comes to the deal.

In other words, this means that Call of Duty exclusivity or Blizzard games on Game Pass couldn't reasonably happen on UK soil, and that would, as many would argue, devalue the entire purchase in the first place.

Regardless of the outcome from here, this has huge implications for the future of the video game industry, and it looks like the industry-giant pay-to-win meta is here to stay.

Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.

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