While the process was paused over the summer, the FTC’s case will now be heard by its internal administrative law judge in a trial-like process.
The decision follows a US appeals court’s decision to deny the FTC’s bid to pause the acquisition in July.
As it stands, Microsoft and Activision appear set to complete their $69 billion merger ahead of an October 18 deadline after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority provisionally approved the deal last week.
According to Bloomberg, the latest development means the FTC can technically continue to challenge the deal even after it closes but it is unlikely to stop it from going through.
“The FTC continues to believe this deal is a threat to competition,” said FTC spokesperson Victoria Graham. She said the FTC is placing the issue on the commission’s calendar, but that “our current focus is on the federal appeal process.”
In response to today’s news, an Activision spokesperson said: “We’re focused on working with Microsoft toward closing. How the FTC uses limited taxpayer dollars is its decision.”
A Microsoft spokesperson also said: “We still anticipate that we will close the transaction by October 18, and we have full confidence in our case and the deal’s benefits to gamers and competition.”