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Activision Blizzard stock up 10% after judge rules on Microsoft deal

TechnologyActivision Blizzard stock up 10% after judge rules on Microsoft deal

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Pavlo Gonchar | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Shares of Activision Blizzard closed up 10% on Tuesday after a judge denied the Federal Trade Commission’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Microsoft from acquiring the video game maker.

Activision Blizzard’s stock reached a 52-week high of $92.91 per share, and the move reflects the biggest jump for the video game publisher since the deal was first announced on Jan. 18, 2022. Activision Blizzard shares hit their highest close since July 2021.

Microsoft agreed to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, or $95 per share, but the acquisition has faced opposition in the U.S. and abroad over concerns that it could stifle competition.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued the decision in favor of the companies Tuesday.

“For the reasons explained, the Court finds the FTC has not shown a likelihood it will prevail on its claim this particular vertical merger in this specific industry may substantially lessen competition,” Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley wrote in her decision.

But the deal isn’t completely in the clear. The FTC can now bring the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and Microsoft and Activision Blizzard must find a way forward to resolve opposition from the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom.

“We’re optimistic that today’s ruling signals a path to full regulatory approval elsewhere around the globe, and we stand ready to work with UK regulators to address any remaining concerns so our merger can quickly close,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick wrote in a memo to employees Tuesday.

See also  Microsoft to unbundle Teams software in Europe in bid to abate EU concerns

CNBC’s Jordan Novet contributed to this report

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