Microsoft is reportedly on the verge of completing its long-awaited acquisition of Activision Blizzard. According to sources cited by The Verge, the deal is expected to be finalized on Friday, October 13, 2023. The chosen date aligns with the planned release of the final verdict by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has been deliberating on the acquisition for several months. While a provisional approval was granted in late September, the CMA’s final decision is eagerly awaited by Microsoft.

The CMA’s approval, although provisional, is seen as a positive step forward for Microsoft. It indicates that the company has successfully addressed concerns about potential monopolization of the cloud streaming industry. Microsoft has assured regulators that it will introduce safeguards to prevent any anti-competitive practices. The upcoming final verdict will clarify the outcome of the acquisition, with Microsoft expecting a positive outcome based on prearranged plans to formalize the deal by Friday.

If the acquisition is finalized as expected, it will mark the end of a 20-month legal battle for Microsoft. The company has faced scrutiny from multiple regulatory bodies worldwide. However, it has managed to overcome obstacles and gain approval from various authorities. Notably, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) remains firm in its opposition to the acquisition. Despite being denied an initial injunction to stop the deal, the FTC continues to claim that it poses a threat to competition.

While the CMA’s approval will likely allow Microsoft to proceed with the acquisition, the FTC’s appeal and separate administrative case pose ongoing challenges. The FTC’s appeal is expected to be decided in December 2023, well after the finalization deadline. Additionally, an administrative case may proceed 21 days after the ruling by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, adding further complexity to the situation. The Verge suggests that the FTC could potentially attempt to undo the Activision Blizzard deal through this process, but for now, Microsoft is forging ahead with its plans.

As the CMA prepares to announce its final verdict, all eyes are on the future of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. If the deal goes through as anticipated, significant changes can be expected in the coming weeks. Microsoft will begin the process of integrating Activision Blizzard within its operations, opening up new opportunities and challenges within the gaming industry. As this unfolds, stay tuned for further details and developments regarding the CMA’s final verdict and the ongoing legal battles Microsoft faces with the FTC.

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