A federal court has issued a temporary restraining order that will prevent Microsoft from closing on its $68.7 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard — at least for now. The ban and preliminary injunction and the complaint filed by the Central Trade Commission in the court on Monday. Agreed Injunction while considering that injunction. If the courts also grant an injunction, the FTC will have a chance to make its legal case before any deal is made.
As a result of today’s order, Microsoft and Activision will not be able to complete the acquisition until “no later than 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, the fifth business day after the court grants the FTC’s preliminary injunction,” or a date set by the court (whichever is the case). later). The court has set an evidentiary hearing for the preliminary injunction on June 22 and 23, so it is highly unlikely that these companies will close the transaction this month.
Microsoft and Activision announced a planned acquisition in January 2022, and within months, it faced massive regulatory scrutiny. Although EU regulators approved the deal in May, UK regulators blocked the deal in April (a decision Microsoft appealed) and the FTC sued in December in another attempt to block the deal.
Technically, the deal will close before the July 18 deadline. If the deal isn’t renegotiated to extend that deadline, Microsoft is obligated to pay Activision Blizzard a $3 billion breakup fee.