The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is reportedly “leaning toward” appealing Tuesday’s ruling against the body’s attempt to block the Microsoft/ Activision Blizzard merger.
According to Bloomberg, while no decision has been made, an appeal could be filed “as early as Wednesday,” according to its source, who is said to have knowledge of the deliberations.
On Tuesday, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California denied the FTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction.
Had it been granted, the injunction would have blocked the $69 billion deal from being completed until the US regulator’s in-house court had a chance to rule on whether the merger hurt competition in the games industry.
Judge Corley ruled that the FTC didn’t prove that the acquisition would harm competition in gaming.
US District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley however did extend a restraining order that prevents Microsoft from completing the deal until Friday. In order to appeal, the FTC would have to approach the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to extend that stay.
The UK’s competition watchdog has paused legal proceedings with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard with a view to reaching an agreement over the game companies’ proposed merger, after the deal was cleared in the United States.
Pending the outcome of the possible appeal by the FTC, the ruling removes one of the last major obstacles preventing the deal from being completed. The European Commission approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard in May.