(Bloomberg) -- The US Federal Trade Commission is continuing its challenge of Microsoft Corp.’s $69 billion acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard Inc., in yet another attempt to fight the deal even after it closes.

The FTC will move forward with its in-house trial against the acquisition after pausing that process over the summer, according to an order the agency issued Wednesday. The move means the FTC can technically continue to challenge the deal even after it closes but won’t likely derail it from going through by Oct. 18.

The decision comes after a US appeals court denied the FTC’s bid to pause the acquisition in July. The companies are on target to complete the largest gaming deal ever in US history after UK authorities signaled last week that they will accept the latest concessions. 

“The FTC continues to believe this deal is a threat to competition,” said FTC spokesperson Victoria Graham. She said the agency is placing the issue on the commission’s calendar, but “our current focus is on the federal appeal process.” 

The agency sought to block the merger over concerns that Microsoft would withhold Activision’s most popular games from rival consoles or services. A judge in San Francisco over the summer ruled that the FTC hadn’t shown the deal would harm competition for gaming. The FTC is appealing that decision.

The FTC typically drops challenges to deals when they lose in federal court. In a handful of cases, the agency has sought to unwind mergers after they lose in court.

Both Microsoft and Activision said they anticipate the deal to go through as planned. 

“We’re focused on working with Microsoft toward closing. How the FTC uses limited taxpayer dollars is its decision,” Activision spokesperson Joseph Christinat said.

“We still anticipate that we will close the transaction by October 18, and we have full confidence in our case and the deal’s benefits to gamers and competition,” said Rebecca Dougherty, a Microsoft spokesperson.

The FTC’s in-house hearing is expected to begin 21 days after the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals issues its opinion regarding the appeal of the district court decision, according to the filing.

UK competition authorities last week signaled they will accept the latest concessions in the deal, setting up Microsoft and Activision to clear their final regulatory hurdle. 

“I view it more as a ‘hail Mary’ attempt to disrupt the deal from closing,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives. 

“The FTC and Lina Khan continue to fight a losing battle, trying to extinguish this deal. We believe it’s a matter of when, not if, the deal gets done.”

--With assistance from Leah Nylen.

(Updates with background on the deal, quote from analyst.)

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