Microsoft appeals against UK block on Activision Blizzard deal

Microsoft filed an appeal against Britain's decision to block its $69 billion takeover of "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard

May 25, 2023 10:18 am | Updated 10:18 am IST - LONDON

File photo of the Microsoft logo

File photo of the Microsoft logo | Photo Credit: AP

Microsoft filed an appeal on Wednesday of Britain's decision to block its $69 billion takeover of "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard, a company spokesperson said.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Britain's antitrust regulator, vetoed the deal in April, saying it could hurt competition in the nascent cloud gaming market.

Microsoft lodged its promised appeal with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), which handles appeals against CMA rulings, on Wednesday, the deadline for it to file. A spokesperson for the CAT declined to comment.

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"We can confirm we have filed our appeal," Microsoft communications director Robin Koch said.

The CMA's shock decision to block the biggest ever deal in gaming drew a furious response from both companies, with Microsoft saying it had shaken confidence in Britain as a destination for tech businesses.

The EU's competition authorities approved the deal earlier this month after they accepted remedies put forward by Microsoft that were broadly comparable to those it proposed in the UK.

Microsoft has also appealed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's action seeking to block the deal on the grounds that, the agency said, it would suppress competition.

The CAT makes a judgment on the merits of the CMA decision. The appeal is not an opportunity for Microsoft to submit new remedies.

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