Kim Dotcom is eligible for extradition to the US, but it could be years before he is sent to North America.
The internet tycoon has already lodged an appeal following today's decision by an Auckland judge who said there was sufficient legal grounds for him and three co-accused to face copyright infringement charges in the States.
The founder of file sharing website Megaupload was hoping for a Christmas miracle, and said when entering court "let's see what Santa has in store".
But, it was Judge Nevin Dawson who delivered the bad news for Dotcom.
"What I'd like to say is this is not the last word on the matter. We've filed an appeal ... I'm still on bail ... and we'll go through the whole process till the very end," Dotcom told reporters after the decision.
The German-born internet mogul and his former business associates - Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk - are accused of making $US175 million from what US authorities say is a criminal conspiracy based around Megaupload.
Batato's wife burst into tears upon hearing the judge's decision. Lawyers acting on behalf of US prosecutors are now applying for a review of the men's bail conditions.
Bail conditions are unchanged with each men rexpected to report twice-a-week for checks.
The MegaUpload website they ran hosted pirated music, software, movies and television shows.
Since Dotcom's dramatic arrest in 2012, the US has been asking to have the men surrendered to stand trial for a string of copyright-breach related charges.
Ten weeks of legal arguments for and against extradition wrapped up at the end of November.
The judge has declined all the stay applications from the four men.
Mona Dotcom was also in court when Judge Nevin Dawson delivered his decision in Auckland this afternoon.
The legal teams for the defendants made a number of applications to have the case thrown out, throughout the hearing. They have been denied.
A final decision on whether to extradite the men lies with Justice Minister Amy Adams but it could be years before she has a say with Dotcom likely to appeal today's decision.
In response to the decision today, Ms Adams says she must first wait and see whether the judgement is appealed.
"If it is not then I will need to consider the Court's determination and receive advice from the Ministry of Justice on the relevant issues under the Extradition Act.
"As the Court's decision may be appealed, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time."