By Leah Nylen and Anna Edgerton | Bloomberg

The Federal Trade Commission plans to sue Microsoft Corp. in federal court Monday to block the company from closing its $69 billion acquisition of Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The FTC plans to seek a court order blocking the transaction until the agency’s in-house court has a chance to rule on the deal, according to the person, who asked not to be named discussing the agency’s plans. A trial before the agency’s court is scheduled to begin in August.

Microsoft didn’t have an immediate comment.

The $69 billion deal has faced tough antitrust scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic. Microsoft, which makes the Xbox console, won approval in the European Union, but the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority in April ruled against the takeover, saying Activision titles like Call of Duty would bolster Microsoft’s edge over rivals in the small but growing cloud-gaming market.

Microsoft is appealing the CMA decision, which is globally binding.

Microsoft President and Vice Chair Brad Smith met with UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt this month to discuss the deal. When the CMA vetoed the deal in April, Smith said he was “very disappointed” with the decision, which he said had shaken “people’s confidence in technology in the UK.”

The FTC first sued to block the deal in December in its in-house court, arguing the acquisition would harm competition in the US video game market. That FTC complaint doesn’t prevent Microsoft from closing the deal, leading to the FTC’s move to ask a federal judge to block the transaction.

The agency’s trial is set to begin Aug. 2, but isn’t likely to produce a decision till the end of the year.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard’s merger agreement expires on July 18. Though the agreement can be extended, Activision Blizzard has the option to walk away with a $3 billion break-up fee.

MLex earlier reported on the FTC’s plans to file an injunction.