The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is getting ready to file a lawsuit to try to stop Microsoft from buying Activision Blizzard. Early in December, the FTC, which is in charge of upholding antitrust laws, asked an administrative judge to halt the purchase.

According to the agency, the acquisition would give Microsoft's Xbox exclusive access to Activision titles, putting Nintendo and Sony and other game system producers at a disadvantage.

"In light of that, and public reporting that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are considering closing their deal imminently, we have filed a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent them from closing while review continues,” an FTC spokeswoman told Reuters.

While the European Union approved Microsoft's $69 billion offer to buy the renowned video game company in May, British competition authorities had already rejected the purchase in April. According to a Reuters source, the FTC is now aiming to submit a court order in the Northern District of California as a result.

Activision's shares slightly declined by 0.8% on Monday, while Microsoft's shares ended the day up 1%. Microsoft has emphasised its readiness to sign a legally enforceable consent decree with the FTC, claiming that the proposed arrangement will benefit both players and gaming firms. The order would guarantee that "Call of Duty" games are accessible to competing businesses for ten years, including Sony.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick sent an email to employees on Monday saying, "Our excellent legal team has been preparing for this move for more than a year, and we're ready to present our case to a federal judge who can evaluate the transaction on the merits. The facts are on our side, and we will continue to keep you updated throughout the process."

According to antitrust law experts, it will be difficult for the FTC to persuade a judge to halt the merger. Microsoft has offered voluntary compromises in response to worries about possible market dominance, which may be favourable to it in court. On August 2nd, the trial in the FTC's internal administrative court is scheduled to begin.