Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard buyout expected to clear soon – here’s where it stands now

Robert Collins

Microsoft has thus far prevailed against the American FTC in court, with the latter’s preliminary injunction to halt the deal blocked and its appeal of that decision also denied.

In light of these developments, the CMA in the U.K. has agreed to pause litigation in the ongoing Microsoft appeal there to work out a remedy to regulatory concerns over the nascent cloud gaming market. The CMA elected to block the deal there earlier this year. As reported by Reuters and others, Microsoft has been granted a two-month pause in its appeal.

Uk Cma Custom

The deadline for the acquisition is July 18 (the day of this writing) and it appears that Microsoft and Activision are expected to work out an extension. While it has been speculated that a restructured deal could mean a new investigation by the CMA, it  looks more likely that all parties would rather see a close to this ongoing saga that’s been in the headlines for the last year and a half.

Meanwhile, the FTC’s actual trial is set to begin on August 2. However, the American regulator is said to be “weighing its options” following the defeat handed to it by the Ninth Court of Appeals. With Sony—the deal’s staunchest opponent—having effectively thrown in the towel by signing a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, there now seems little incentive to delay what appears to be the inevitable. While many thought the deal might close this week, as today, July 18th was the original closing date set by Microsoft and Activision, there is a fair likelihood that we could see a small delay. However most accounts are expecting the deal to close in weeks, not months.