About two weeks after Microsoft lodged an appeal with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) against the decision of UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to block Microsoft’s $69 billion deal with Activision Blizzard, the Call of Duty maker has been given a go-ahead to make their case to the tribunal.
According to a report by news agency Reuters, Activision has now been given permission to intervene in Microsoft’s appeal at the CAT, which handles appeals against CMA rulings. The case is expected to be heard next month.
The CAT makes a judgement on the merits of the CMA decision. Furthermore, the appeal is not an opportunity for Microsoft to submit new remedies.
The news follows a report which said that Microsoft’s president Brad Smith, who met Britain’s finance minister for talks earlier this week, said that the company wants to address regulators’ concerns about the Activision acquisition.
Microsoft has already signed 10-year deals with Nvidia, Nintendo, Ukraine’s cloud company Boosteroid, Japan’s Ubitus and Spain’s Nware to bring Activision’s games to their platforms. The deals are also a way to imply that the company isn’t trying to hurt competition in the market.
It is to be noted that a final decision on Microsoft’s appeal may take months.
UK blocks deal
Britain’s antitrust regulator blocked the deal in April saying that it could hurt competition in the cloud gaming market, drawing a sharp response from both Microsoft and Activision.
At a hearing in May, Microsoft’s lawyers accused the CMA of being a global ‘outlier’ for blocking the Activision takeover, which has been approved by regulators including the European Union’s competition authority.
It is noteworthy that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also blocked the deal, and the decision is under appeal by Microsoft.
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