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Microsoft-Activision deal: CEO Satya Nadella, Xbox execs to defend FTC case

Microsoft is preparing a strong defense against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) case that seeks to block its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, and other high-ranking executives, including Xbox chief Phil Spencer, are scheduled to appear in court during the five-day evidentiary hearing. Activision Blizzard’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, and CFO, Armin Zerza, are also expected to testify. Other Microsoft and Xbox executives, such as CFO Amy Hood and head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty, will be present as well.

The purpose of their presence is to counter the potential preliminary injunction that aims to halt Microsoft’s $68.7 billion gaming deal with Activision Blizzard. Sony’s PlayStation chief, Jim Ryan, will also provide testimony remotely to discuss market competition. Microsoft has highlighted that Sony, a major opponent of the merger, will not be physically present in the San Francisco courtroom.

Microsoft’s goal is to secure victory in the injunction case as it holds significant importance for the company. The FTC filed the case in an attempt to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard before the July 18 deadline. Microsoft has acknowledged that if the injunction is granted, the acquisition deal could be jeopardized. The hearing for the case is scheduled for August 2, shortly after Microsoft’s appeal hearing in the UK.

If the injunction is successful, it would delay the potential closing of the Activision deal, requiring Microsoft to renegotiate the terms or pay a $3 billion breakup fee to walk away. Microsoft views the legal process as an opportunity to present its case and believes that expediting the proceedings will ultimately foster more choice and competition in the market.

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