FTC Continues To Challenge Xbox's Takeover Of Activision Blizzard

Anyone for a bit of FTC news? Just what you wanted on a Thursday afternoon, eh?

Yes, just a few months after the FTC lost its request for a preliminary injunction against Microsoft's takeover of Activision Blizzard, the regulator has now resumed its challenge - with plans to move forward with an in-house hearing.

In a statement to Bloomberg, FTC spokesperson Victoria Graham simply had the following to say:

"The FTC continues to believe this deal is a threat to competition."

A new order that's been filed by the FTC this week mentions the Commission has "determined that the public interest warrants that this matter be resolved fully and expeditiously", and this will be conducted by a virtually-conducted evidentiary hearing at some point in the relatively near future.

As a result of the FTC losing the preliminary injunction request back in July, Microsoft is still able to close the Activision Blizzard acquisition before the deadline of October 18th, and the company expects this will be the case:

"We still anticipate that we will close the transaction by October 18, and we have full confidence in our case and the deal’s benefits to gamers and competition."

Activision Blizzard didn't hold back either, issuing a fairly fiery statement in response to the FTC:

"We’re focused on working with Microsoft toward closing. How the FTC uses limited taxpayer dollars is its decision."

Ultimately, it doesn't look like the FTC's challenge of the Activision Blizzard takeover will be able to stop it from going through prior to October 18th, but it does mean that the Commission could technically keep fighting it even after it closes. It'll be interesting to see what happens next, but for now at least, the ball is still in Microsoft's court.

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know down in the comments section below.

[source ftc.gov, via bloomberg.com]