After securing a big win in a US court against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its $68.7 billion acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard, Microsoft said it has agreed with the UK’s anti-competition watchdog to pause the litigation.
A federal judge in the US ruled that the FTC cannot block the $68.7 billion merger, saying Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the developer behind hugely-popular Call of Duty (CoD) franchise, would not be anti-competitive.
“The FTC has not shown it is likely to succeed on its assertion the combined firm will probably pull Call of Duty from Sony PlayStation, or that its ownership of Activision content will substantially lessen competition in the video game library subscription and cloud gaming markets,” the judge wrote in the ruling.
Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a tweet late on Tuesday that after the court’s decision in the US, “our focus now turns back” to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
“While we ultimately disagree with the CMA's concerns, we are considering how the transaction might be modified in order to address those concerns in a way that is acceptable to the CMA,” Smith said in a statement.
In order to prioritise work on these proposals, “Microsoft and Activision have agreed with the CMA that a stay of the litigation in the UK would be in the public interest and the parties have made a joint submission to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to this effect,” he mentioned.
The UK market regulator in April announced it was blocking Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In May, the European Commission approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.
The Commission's in-depth market investigation indicated that Microsoft would not be able to harm rival consoles and rival multi-game subscription services.