The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to resume internal administrative proceedings suspended in the summer in the case of Microsoft’s acquisition of the publishing house Activision Blizzard.
Recall that in July, the FTC lost to Microsoft in US District Court, failing to obtain a preliminary injunction against the deal. As a rule, in such cases the regulator refuses to fight further, but not this time.
“The Commission determined that the public interest requires a full and expeditious resolution of this matter. Therefore, the Commission is remanding this case,” the FTC statement reads.
FTC spokeswoman Victoria Graham said the regulator “continues to view the deal as a threat to competition” and is currently “focused on the federal appeals process.”
The FTC’s late move means the commission’s fight against the deal could continue after it is officially closed: last week the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gave the deal preliminary approval.
“We are focused on working with Microsoft to close [сделки]. How the FTC spends limited taxpayer dollars is up to them,” said Activision spokesman Joseph Christinat.
The CMA must make a final decision on the case by October 18, which is the deadline for completing the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. The record deal is estimated at $68.7 billion, and the amount of the penalty in case of failure will be $4.5 billion.
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