America’s competition watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has moved again to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Call Of Duty maker Activision Blizzard.
The US regulator asked a court to temporarily block the $68.7bn (£54.7bn) merger, which it believes could significantly reduce competition in the market.
In December, the FTC issued an initial legal complaint, saying, “the loss of competition would likely result in significant harm to consumers in multiple markets at a pivotal time for the industry”.
The UK also blocked the deal over similar concerns and Microsoft responded saying it would appeal.
But last month the European Commission approved the acquisition, which could set new records as the largest ever in the history of both Microsoft and the video gaming industry.
The FTC has expressed concerns that Microsoft were “seriously contemplating” closing the deal anyway and asked the courts to block any final decision before the end of this Friday.
Microsoft president Brad Smith said the tech company “welcome the opportunity to present our case in federal court”.
“We believe accelerating the legal process in the US will ultimately bring more choice and competition to the market,” he said.
The ‘Call of Duty’ creators would be a valuable addition to Microsoft as it strives to overtake rival Sony.
Activision shares were down 0.8% at close yesterday, while Microsoft was up 1.5%.