FTC Chair Lina Khan testifies during the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data and Commerce hearing on the ‘Federal Trade Commission Budget for Fiscal Year 2024’, at the FTC Building Rayburn on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
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The Federal Trade Commission could appeal a judge’s decision against its attempt to block Microsoft and Activision Blizzard to close their $68.7 billion deal as early as Wednesday, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNBC.
Bloomberg first reported that the agency was inclined to appeal after US District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction. Had it been granted, the parties would not have been able to close their deal until the FTC’s internal administrative proceeding took place later this summer, after the July 18 settlement deadline.
The FTC has not reached a final decision on the appeal, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about internal discussions. But the temporary restraining order preventing Microsoft and Activision from shutting down will expire after 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday.
Even if you appeal, the agency will race against the clock on the settlement deadline until the court acts. The parties still face opposition from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, but that agency agreed on Tuesday, following the US ruling, to suspend litigation to consider proposals to restructure the deal that might allay their concerns.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the FTC’s potential appeal.
—CNBC steve kovach contributed to this report.
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