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Microsoft’s hard work for the Activision merger will soon pay off, with the EU and UK regulators expected to provide their approvals. According to a report from the New York Post, Microsoft is already preparing to close the deal despite the presence of the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit. And even with future moves to stop the merger, experts said it would be challenging for the FTC to win.
The $69 billion deal has been a long journey for Microsoft, but it should see the light at the end of the tunnel. According to the report, the software giant’s agreements to bring the Call of Duty franchise to its competitors helped in convincing different watchdogs. The company is reportedly “optimistic” about receiving approval from the Competition and Marketing Authority of the UK this week, while sources said it is “hopeful” that the positive EU decision will arrive next month. The reversal of the former’s view was a surprise for many, especially after most of its initial concerns seemed to echo the voice of the deal’s number one critic, Sony.
Once approved, it will be a huge punch for the FTC, which filed a lawsuit in December last year. The case has been messy, especially for Sony, which was pushed to uncover some company files for Microsoft’s discovery process. With this, a source said, “They are going to cram this down the FTC’s throats.” However, it is important to note that FTC could still oppose the merger through a temporary injunction from a US Federal court, but the report shared that a DC antitrust source believed “getting that ruling is far from a sure thing.” And in case a federal judge rules against a temporary injunction, the source said the agency might struggle more to win in its internal court.
Yet, the report shared that FTC Chair Lina Khan wanted to block the deal without the help of the court, with the belief that it would fail after the July 18 deadline. The report mentioned FTC’s late August 2 hearing date involving its complaint in its internal court, with the source saying the delays favored the regulator and that “the FTC was trying to kill the deal with process.”