Xbox Wins FTC Court Case As Judge Denies Preliminary Injunction

It's official! Microsoft, Xbox and Activision Blizzard have won their court case against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, as the judge has denied the FTC's request for a preliminary injunction over Microsoft's attempted takeover of Activision Blizzard. Here's a sample from the 53-page document filed earlier today:

"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."

The FTC originally filed the request for an injunction (and a temporary restraining order) due to concerns that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard were trying to close their deal before the regulator could determine whether it "violates U.S. antitrust law". A date of August 2nd had previously been set by the FTC for an in-house evidentiary hearing.

Ultimately, today's decision paves the way for the takeover to go through in the United States, although keep in mind that the UK Competition and Markets Authority recently blocked the deal, so we're still not over the finish line yet.

Update: Microsoft and the CMA have agreed to pause legal proceedings following today's verdict.

Here's what Microsoft's Brad Smith had to say in a statement this afternoon:

"We're grateful to the Court in San Francisco for this quick and thorough decision and hope other jurisdisctions will continue working towards a timely resolution. As we've demonstrated consistently throughout this process, we are committed to working creatively and collaboratively to address regulatory concerns."

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