While the FTC filed for a preliminary injunction last month, following the five-day-long hearing, Microsoft has finally won against the FTC in the US as Judge Corley has denied the FTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction.
According to the decision revealed, Judge Corley writes:
Four weeks ago, the FTC filed this action to preliminarily enjoin the merger pending completion of the FTC administrative action. Because the merger has a July 18 termination date, expedited proceedings were commenced. After considering the parties’ voluminous pre-and-post hearing writing submissions, and having held a five-day evidentiary hearing, the Court DENIES the motion for preliminary injunction. 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.
This is the second win for Microsoft among the big three regulators. The EU allowed the transaction to pass with certain conditions, and now Microsoft has successfully defeated the FTC.
It is unclear if the deal can now close as Microsoft still faces a block by the UK’s CMA, however, according to a report revealed last month, Microsoft is actively looking for ways to close around the CMA’s block. We will have to wait and see how it all pans out.