Late on June 13th, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Francisco placed a temporary restraining order on both Activision Blizzard Inc. and Microsoft. Cut to prevent the merger from going through at least temporarily, federal officials are still reviewing claims of it creating a monopoly. With the deal set to conclude on June 16th, time was short for the feds to get their investigation completed.
Under the new order, the deal cannot be completed until at least five days have passed following the ruling on the preliminary injunction ruling. With Microsoft owning the Xbox gaming console many fear the acquisition would make top-tier video game franchises like “Call of Duty” and “Overwatch” Xbox-only titles. Given their immense population across all platforms over the years this would create a monopoly for Microsoft according to the allegations.
When the FTC filed for the injunction on June 12th, they said “A preliminary injunction is necessary to maintain the status quo and prevent interim harm to competition. This loss of competition would likely result in significant harm to consumers in multiple markets at a pivotal time for the industry.”
From its lofty perch in Seattle, Microsoft has expressed no concerns about the lawsuit. “We welcome the opportunity to present our case in federal court. We believe accelerating the legal process in the U.S. will ultimately bring more choice and competition to the market.” The European Union approved the deal back in May. However, British regulators will hold appeal hearings after starting in April that they would be blocking the sale.
While mixed messages like this make it difficult for them to get business done, this is the right decision. Microsoft has been trying to corner the market so Bill Gates can dump more money into his vaccinations for control and child sex rings. By preventing this merger, this judge can prevent a lot of money from going into the wrong hands.