Microsoft, Activision urge U.S. to drop case against deal before internal FTC judge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Microsoft, which is seeking to wrap up its acquisition of game-maker Activision Blizzard, urged the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to withdraw a case against the deal that the agency had brought before an internal FTC judge, according to a motion posted to the FTC’s website on Wednesday.

Microsoft and Activision on Wednesday extended the deadline for the close of their $69 billion deal by three months to Oct. 18 as the American companies work to secure British approval for the biggest gaming deal in history.

In Washington, the FTC has been pursuing a two-pronged attack against the proposed transaction. One was in district court, which refused last week to slap a preliminary injunction on the proposed transaction. An appeals court also turned down a request for the deal to be paused.

The second is before an FTC administrative law judge, where a trial is to begin on Aug. 2. It was this prong that the companies asked the agency to withdraw.

“Withdrawal from adjudication is not only mandatory but is in the public interest. The district court had a full opportunity to consider the FTC’s claims and found that the Commission was unlikely to succeed on the merits of those claims for multiple, independently sufficient reasons,” the companies said in the motion.

The FTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Jasper Ward; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Stephen Coates)


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