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Legal Threats Push Activision Blizzard Acquisition By Microsoft Beyond June, 2023

Legal concerns threaten to push the Activision Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft back into June of next year, at least according to a recent report from an antitrust expert. Microsoft on the other hand is apparently prepared to fight in court for as long as it takes to make sure that its nearly $70 billion deal comes to fruition, despite possible attempts to block the merger by the Federal Trade Commission.

The news comes from a recently released report from Bloomberg which quotes a number of sources familiar with the currently ongoing legal proceedings. The regulator was previously cited as “likely to file an antitrust lawsuit” in order to prevent the proposed takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.

The initiation of an antitrust case against Microsoft in its acquisition of Activision Blizzard would most likely result in a lengthy legal battle, something which the company is apparently confident that it can win even despite ongoing attempts by its rival Sony to block the merger.

According to antitrust analyst Jennifer Rie, the Federal Trade Commission would have a difficult time winning such a court case against Microsoft, but the legal proceedings could push the actual merger well into next year, perhaps even past the expected completion date of June 30.

Chief Operating Officer at Activision Blizzard Daniel Alegre previously noted how the company “won’t hesitate to fight” in order to ensure the deal with Microsoft goes through in the end. What measures could be taken by Activision Blizzard remain somewhat unclear, but Microsoft has already proven willing to make some pretty significant concessions, apparently being prepared to promise another regulator known as the European Commission to keep the massively popular franchise Call of Duty on PlayStation for up to a decade, at least according to sources cited by the news agency Reuters.

The deal has already gained the approval of regulators in several different countries around the world, most notably Saudi Arabia and Brazil, the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom having just expanded its investigation into a second phase. What further roadblocks could be faced by Microsoft going forward remain to be seen.

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