It seems that the judge has rejected Microsoft’s request for a stay on Activision Blizzard’s merger lawsuit, but the Redmond-based company has not given up hope of pushing the deal through.
A US district court in California has rejected Microsoft’s request to freeze the Activision Blizzard lawsuit brought by gamers. In December, a group of gamers banded together to sue Microsoft and Activision over the proposed merger, claiming it would harm competition. Microsoft has asked for a stay of proceedings pending the outcome of the action brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Why was Microsoft’s request to suspend the Activision Blizzard lawsuit rejected?
According to Reuters, Microsoft argued before Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley that the players’ lawsuit should stay pending resolution of the FTC’s legal challenge because handling the two cases simultaneously would lead to “unnecessary and duplicative litigation and the risk of inconsistent rulings”. “Putting the case on hold while the FTC’s litigation is pending would thus simplify the issues in the case,” Microsoft lawyers said.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued against Microsoft’s claims, saying the FTC’s legal process does not bind the players. Moreover, Microsoft itself had previously agreed to proceed with the case despite the FTC’s objections.
Judge Corley sided with the plaintiffs and will hear their arguments against the deal on 23 March. He will then decide whether to issue a preliminary injunction to block the Activision Blizzard acquisition.
Microsoft remains confident that the deal will go through.