Microsoft has faced a series of roadblocks in its journey to acquiring Activision Blizzard for $69 billion USD. The latest obstacle comes in the form of a temporary restraining order blocking the deal.
A federal judge in California issued the order, which will remain in effect until the court makes a decision on the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction. The US agency filed the injunction just the other day, reiterating its argument that Microsoft would have a monopoly on the cloud gaming space.
In its filing, the FTC described that “Microsoft would have the ability and increased incentive to withhold or degrade Activision’s content in ways that substantially lessen competition — including competition on product quality, price, and innovation.”
Microsoft, in turn, has downplayed the games that Activision would bring to the table, comparing the studio’s offerings to Sony’s own.
The court will hear the FTC’s injunction request on June 22 and 23, according to Bloomberg. That means – if the court doesn’t rule in favor of the FTC – the soonest the merger could happen would be after that, though the companies reported they were aiming to close the deal on July 18.