The US Federal Trade Commission sued to block it Microsoft’s purchase of the gaming company for $69 billion Activision Blizzard Inc. in December, according to people familiar with the investigation, in part to preempt its European counterparts and dissuade them from accepting a deal that would allow them to negotiate.

Hours after a Dec. 8 call between U.S. and European Union officials about related investigations, the FTC filed a complaint challenging the merger, said one of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are confidential. EU officials said on the call that they intend to start talks with Microsoft about potential remedies.

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