A federal judge Tuesday challenged the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to delay Microsoft’s $70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, setting the tech giant and video game publisher to merge as soon as this month.
in 53 pages In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corey of the Northern District of California said the FTC had failed to demonstrate that the merger was likely to result in a significant reduction in competition that would harm consumers..
He rejected the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction that would delay the completion of the transaction until the FTC could challenge it in an internal court.
The ruling is a major blow to the FTC’s efforts to crack down more aggressively on blockbuster technology mergers. The strategy is led by the agency’s chairman, Rina Khan, who argues that big tech’s enormous influence over commerce and telecommunications has led to anti-competitive behavior. The FTC has sued Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon, but has pulled back on one case against Meta, and has shown little success so far in its efforts.
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