Activision Blizzard: US judge blocks takeover by Microsoft until further hearings

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Federal Trade Commission secures delay of $69bn deal which it argues would be anti-competitive

A US district judge has granted the Federal Trade Commission’s request to temporarily block Microsoft’s $69bn buyout of video game maker Activision Blizzard and set a hearing next week.

Microsoft’s bid to acquire the Call of Duty video game maker has been approved by the EU but blocked by British competition authorities, while the FTC, a US authority, has argued the transaction would give Microsoft’s video game console Xbox exclusive access to Activision games, leaving Nintendo consoles and Sony’s PlayStation out in the cold.