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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking to block the planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, filing a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order against the deal with the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

The FTC argues that both “a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction are necessary because Microsoft and Activision have represented that they may consummate the Proposed Acquisition at any time [redacted] without any further notice to the Commission.”

These measures, the FTC wrote in its court filing, are “necessary to maintain the status quo and prevent interim harm to competition” while the FTC’s own proceedings to decide about the future of the transaction are underway. The regulator has already sued Microsoft over the proposed takeover, bringing a case against the deal before its internal administrative law judge, which will be heard in August 2023 – that’s after the July 18, 2023, deadline for the takeover Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have agreed on.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, stated the following in response to the FTC’s move: “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.”

Microsoft is simultaneously fighting a legal battle in the United Kingdom, where the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) has decided to block the acquisition as well – the appeal is set to be heard after the aforementioned deadline as well.

Aside from the FTC and CMA no other regulator has so far withheld approval of the deal – the authorities in the EU, China, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and many other nations have already given their assent.