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Microsoft Asks Judge To Pause Gamer’s Antitrust Suit

 |  January 12, 2023

Microsoft on Wednesday asked a US judge in California to pause a private antitrust lawsuit over the company’s $69 billion bid to buy “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard Inc while a related US regulatory action challenging the deal moves ahead.

Lawyers for Microsoft argued in a filing in San Francisco federal district court that freezing the private consumers’ case would “avoid needless and duplicative litigation and the risk of inconsistent rulings on identical issues.”

Related: Gamers Sue Microsoft Over $69 Billion Activision Deal

The consumer lawsuit on behalf of 10 video game players alleging Microsoft’s purchase of Activision would reduce competition in the video game industry came about two weeks after the US Federal Trade Commission filed its own case at the agency.

“There is accordingly no reason to litigate this case right now. Microsoft is already litigating the issues presented here in front of the FTC,” Microsoft’s lawyers at Wilkinson Stekloff and Alston & Bird told US District Judge Jacqueline Corley.
The private case seeks a preliminary injunction blocking the purchase. The FTC has not yet filed any lawsuit in federal court. Its case is moving ahead in an administrative forum at the agency, where a judge has the power to enjoin the proposed tie-up. A hearing is scheduled for August.

Microsoft and its lawyers have defended the bid to buy Activision, saying the purchase would provide consumers “high-quality content in more ways and at lower prices.” The deal also faces competition scrutiny in the EU and United Kingdom.