(Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on Tuesday rejected an emergency request to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
The request was filed by a group of gamers who argued that the merger would lessen competition in the video game industry. They asked the Supreme Court to halt the deal until their case could be heard in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kagan denied the request, saying that the gamers had not shown that they were likely to succeed on the merits of their case. She also noted that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had already been given an opportunity to challenge the merger, and had decided not to do so.
The rejection of the emergency request is a major setback for the gamers, who had hoped to prevent the merger from going through. However, they could still try to challenge the merger in the 9th Circuit.
The Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger is one of the largest technology mergers in history. If it is approved, it would give Microsoft control of some of the most popular video game franchises in the world, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.
The FTC had originally challenged the merger, arguing that it would give Microsoft too much power in the video game industry. However, the FTC’s challenge was rejected by a federal district court judge in July 2022. The FTC then appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit, but the court has not yet ruled on the appeal.
The Supreme Court’s rejection of the emergency request means that the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger is one step closer to being finalized. However, the gamers’ case in the 9th Circuit could still derail the deal.