FTC Appeals Loss to Xbox Over Activision Purchase
The Microsoft Vs. FTC trial has been the biggest case in recent gaming history. It’s been a constant back-and-forth with many blows. However, Microsoft managed to come out on top. Now, the FTC appeals its loss to Xbox, hoping to derail it.
Microsoft suffered many hits during the trial. The Starfield launch was attacked by the FTC. Then, we learned about a devious conversation about sabotaging Sony. However, Activision played in favor of Xbox on the fourth day.
Can the FTC sabotage the trial’s outcome?
Trial not over as FTC appeals loss to Xbox to court
The FTC isn’t over the entire trial. But, does the appeal stand a chance?
Earlier this week, Microsoft won a huge battle against the FTC. The trial was grueling. Both parties delivered compelling arguments. In the end, a federal judge denied the FTC’s case. They deemed it hadn’t “shown a likelihood” for its arguments.
Now, the FTC is appealing the decision. On July 14th, the merge’s temporary restraining order will expire at 11:59 PM. The appeal is to extend this order. Though, the deal’s deadline is July 18th. So, time is tight for the regulator.
The arguments for the FTC appeal against Xbox
It’s looking like most players are in favor of the merger.
As the FTC appeals the loss to Xbox, it provided five arguments. Let me break them down quickly.
Firstly, the ruling relied on a wrong legal standard. It weighed that the benefits outweighed Call of Duty’s potential exclusivity. It relied heavily on Microsoft’s agreements against that. It ignored other ways Microsoft could sabotage other platforms. Lastly, it neglected the FTC’s evidence of Microsoft’s foreclosure intents.
We can summarize that in two simple arguments. First, the court didn’t consider Microsoft’s intent enough. Second, it handled legal standards and evidence poorly. Surely, these might be strong arguments. Though, it’s all about time right now.
Activision purchase not over despite the FTC’s loss to Xbox
The facts haven’t changed. We’re confident the U.S. will remain among the 39 countries where the merger can close.
We look forward to demonstrating the strength of our case in court – again.
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) July 12, 2023
Of course, this is a huge victory for Xbox. After all, this case was considerably more famous than the CMA. But, the latter is still a vital player in the merge. Plus, this remnant might be the real obstacle for Microsoft.
You see, Microsoft still has to resolve the CMA’s issues. They had paused the legal battle in favor of the FTC trial. Yet, the regulator warned Microsoft about a new investigation of the merger. That is if Microsoft restructures the deal. It also stated that talks remained at an early stage. Lastly, the CMA said that Microsoft wouldn’t get a second chance.
We still don’t know the date on which the CMA will resume talks. For now, let’s focus on the appeal.
Featured Image Credit: Edit by yours truly.