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US FTC eyes options after Microsoft/Activision loss, source says

WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering its options after stinging losses last week in its bid to stop Microsoft's $69 billion deal to buy Activision, a source told Reuters on Monday amid expectations the agency's fight is nearing the end.

After a big loss last week in district court, the agency's remaining options are: pursue its fight in the internal FTC court; pursue its parallel case before the appeals court; pursue both; or settle with Microsoft or drop the matter entirely.

The source, who is familiar with the matter, declined to give any other details.

The acquisition could fundamentally reshape the console market by giving Microsoft access to Activision's programmers, who have pumped out hits like the "Call of Duty," "Diablo" and "World of Warcraft" series.

U.S. regulators, however, have said it could harm consumers by possibly limiting the reach of Activision's games.

Last week, a district court judge in California denied a motion on Tuesday to stop the deal while an internal FTC judge considers it, and an appeals court denied a motion to pause it on Friday.

Microsoft has been fighting for months to save the proposed transaction, its biggest acquisition and the largest in the history of the videogame industry, and appears close to finalizing the transaction.

The tech giant is separately still trying to get the deal approved separately in Britain. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Susan Heavey)

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