Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) planned $69 billion acquisition of Activision was temporarily blocked by a federal judge after a Federal Trade Commission request on Monday.
A federal judge in San Francisco granted the FTC’s request for a temporary restraining order to block Microsoft (MSFT) from completing its purchase of videogame giant Activision, according to a court filing late Tuesday. An evidentiary hearing on on the preliminary injunction is scheduled for June 22 and June 23.
The FTC made the request for the temporary block and a preliminary injunction on Monday out of concern that Microsoft (MSFT) planned to complete the megadeal at any time. The FTC originally filed a lawsuit in December to block the $95 per share Activision deal, though the suit was filed through an in-house administrative court proceeding that’s scheduled to take place in August.
The TRO “is necessary to maintain the status quo while the complaint is pending,” according to the court ruling.
Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) shares rose 1.2% in regular trading Tuesday amid a disclosure about who would be the judge presiding over the preliminary injunction case. U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley is handling the case.
Corley is the same judge who last month denied a preliminary injunction in a separate antitrust lawsuit from video gamers who were seeking to block the Activision (ATVI) deal. In March, Corley originally granted Microsoft’s (MSFT) motion to dismiss the case, though she gave gamers 20 days to amend the lawsuit.
The move from the FTC to request a preliminary injunction came after reports, including MLex, that Microsoft (MSFT) was looking at ways to close the Activision (ATVI) deal around the UK antitrust regulator’s block of it. The appeal of UK’s Competition and Markets Authority attempt to block the videogame deal is set for July 24.
The Activision (ATVI) deal has a termination deadline of July 18, where the parties can walk away, extend, or renegotiate the deal.
Last month, the planned $69 billion videogame megadeal received antitrust approval from European regulators.
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Image and article originally from seekingalpha.com. Read the original article here.