The US Federal Communications Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit to prevent Microsoft’s $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard. Bloombergthe FTC lawsuit is intended to prevent the European regulator from reaching an agreement on a possible approval of the deal.
According to the report, the FTC lawsuit was filed in court on Dec. 8, just hours after joint talks between US and European officials over the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard ended. An unnamed source said that during this discussion, European officials indicated their intention to start negotiations with Microsoft, which could allow the deal to receive European Commission approval.
The possibility of the EU approving the deal prompted the FTC to go to court, sending a kind of signal to its European counterparts. Despite this, EU and UK regulators will continue to review the deal, and an official decision on the matter will not be announced until April. Officials from the FTC and the European Commission have yet to comment on the matter.
Keep in mind that the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will require the approval of 16 regulators from different countries, including the FTC, the European Commission and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. The three agencies have been in close contact since Microsoft first announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard last January. The European Commission is conducting an in-depth investigation into the deal and plans to make a final decision on the matter by April 11. The UK regulator is also reviewing the deal and plans to issue a preliminary ruling later this month or early next month with a final ruling on April 26.