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Activision And Microsoft Ask The FTC Judge For A Quick Schedule

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Activision And Microsoft Ask The FTC Judge For A Quick Schedule

(CTN News) – Microsoft (MSFT.O) faces a deadline for completing its acquisition of Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) as soon as possible. The companies have requested a federal judge to begin the legal process as soon as possible to halt the deal.

The U.S. District Judge Edward Davila on Tuesday scheduled an evidentiary hearing for June 22-23 in San Francisco, and temporarily stopped the companies from completing the deal pending the decision by another district judge on that same court on whether to grant a preliminary injunction against the deal.

The hearing will focus on the issue of whether Microsoft or not to put the deal on hold while an administrative judge considers whether or not to put the deal on hold.

As a result, the companies said if a temporary hold were granted, they would be forced to abandon the deal altogether since the “glacial” pace of the FTC’s review would make waiting unfeasible.

In an official court filing, the two companies stated that “time is of the essence,” noting that the agreement has a termination date of July 18 and contains a termination fee of $3 billion that Microsoft would be required to pay in the event of a termination.

I believe there can be no doubt in my mind that a preliminary injunction ruling is the only decision that matters under such challenging time constraints.”

FTC spokesperson declined to comment.

There was a request by the companies for the court to schedule at least five days for an evidentiary hearing beginning on June 22 and continuing through the week of June 26.

In addition, they requested a case management conference to be set for Thursday, although it was made clear that they were not seeking to delay the resolution of the case by asking for a longer evidentiary hearing.

Microsoft and Activision wrote in a letter in which they cited a 1986 case as an example of how even if the court grants the FTC a preliminary injunction, the transaction would be effectively blocked because the FTC’s process is “glacial” and one that no substantial business transaction could ever survive.

The FTC administrative proceeding is scheduled to begin on Aug. 2 and will last for about two weeks.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has asserted that Microsoft’s Xbox video game console would gain exclusive access to Activision games, leaving Nintendo’s (7974.T) consoles and Sony Group Corp’s (6758.T) PlayStation out of the picture.

A bid by Microsoft to acquire the “Call of Duty” video game maker was approved by the European Union in May, but in April, British competition authorities stopped the takeover from taking place.

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