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Supreme Court denies gamers' last-ditch effort to block Microsoft Activision Blizzard deal

As acquisition deadline passes.

Image credit: Activision

The US Supreme Court has denied the latest effort by a group of gamers to block Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition.

In December last year, a group of 10 gamers teamed up to file a federal antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. The case aimed to argue that Microsoft's acquisition of Call of Duty maker Activision would "foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition".

In March, a judge dismissed the "so-called gamers' lawsuit" on the grounds it did not "plausibly allege the merger creates a reasonable probability of anticompetitive effects in any relevant market".

Newscast: Is Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition now a done deal?Watch on YouTube

This band of gamers continued to appeal their case, but with little success. Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals denied the group's request to get an injunction to block Microsoft's proposed deal to buy Activision Blizzard. At this time, the group stated they would be appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court.

A document since submitted by the group stated that after the Ninth Circuit denied the motion for a stay pending their appeal "without analysis", the group was now requesting the Supreme Court "temporarily halt the merger so that Plaintiffs' important and meritorious appeal can be heard".

The group claimed that Microsoft's proposed acquisition would cause "irreparable harm to competition" and to gamers themselves.

Now, this last-ditch attempt has also been rejected, as Supreme Court Justice Kagan has denied the appeal. Kagan did not provide an explanation for the denial.

Microsoft has declined to comment.

A screenshot from the Supreme Court.
Image credit: Supreme Court/Eurogamer.

As for Microsoft's continued efforts to purchase Activision Blizzard, earlier this week, Microsoft and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority were provisionally granted two further months to reach a new agreement over Activision Blizzard following a joint request to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Microsoft's proposed Activision Blizzard deal has missed its original deadline, which was set for 18th July. At the time of writing, Microsoft is yet to make an official statement regarding an extension.

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