Washington After about a year and a half, Microsoft has reached its goal of the largest takeover in the video games industry.
The US antitrust authority on Thursday (local time) withdrew its lawsuit against the $ 69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard with games like “Call of Duty”. Now the software group still has to convince the British competition authority CMA with additional concessions to revise their previous veto against the deal.
In a filing posted on the FTC’s website, Microsoft and Activision wrote that dropping the lawsuit was both imperative and in the public interest. “The district court had an opportunity to thoroughly examine the FTC’s claims and concluded that the commission will not succeed on the merits for a number of reasons that are independently sufficient.”
Last week, the FTC failed in its attempt to have the merger blocked by an injunction until the main trial was opened. The court also dismissed an appeal against this decision.
Because Microsoft has concluded long-term license agreements for the Activision game classic “Call of Duty” with competitors such as Sony and Nintendo, competition is not impaired, contrary to what the FTC postulates.
No green light from UK competition authority yet
The UK is the only major market where Microsoft has yet to get the green light to acquire Activision. After the setbacks for the FTC in the past week, however, the agency had signaled that it wanted to reconsider its previous decision if the companies made additional concessions. These would have to “remove our concerns completely and comprehensively”.
According to analyst Michael Pachter from wealth manager Wedbush, Microsoft could spin off parts of its British cloud video games business “Xbox Game Pass”. There, subscribers can play numerous games on different devices. “If Microsoft spins off Game Pass and commits to maintaining the status quo, the CMA should approve.”
To date, the two companies have not submitted a revised application to the CMA. Since this would have to be formally examined, Microsoft and Activision extended their takeover agreement by three months on Wednesday. The EU had already approved the deal in May, subject to conditions.
More: Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover draws near