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.
— CNBC’s Jordan Novet contributed to this report