Friday, June 14, 2024

Microsoft and Activision CEOs Seek US Judge’s Approval for $69 Billion Merger Revision

 With U.S. antitrust enforcers determined to stop Microsoft (MSFT.O) from buying “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O), the companies’ two chief executives are expected to testify on Wednesday that the $69 billion deal will be good for gamers and should go forward.

The Federal Trade Commission has asked a judge to temporarily stop the transaction to allow the agency’s in-house judge to decide the case. In the past, the side lost in federal court often conceded and the in-house process was scrapped.

On Wednesday morning, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella are also scheduled to testify. Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley will decide on the lawsuit, which is being handled in federal court in San Francisco.

According to the FTC, the deal would provide Microsoft exclusive access to Activision games, leaving Sony Group (6758.T) and Nintendo (7974.T) in the cold. Microsoft has offered to license the popular video game “Call of Duty” to competitors to allay antitrust concerns.

Microsoft has stated that licensing the games to everyone will benefit its financial situation. Many governments have approved the agreement, however, the FTC in the US and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority have challenged it.