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Microsoft Fights Back: Appeal Launched Against U.K.'s Objection to Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Tech titan Microsoft is steadfast in pursuing a mega-deal with Activision Blizzard, taking a stand against U.K. regulatory disapproval.

Logos of Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard
Logos of Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard

Microsoft's Appeal Against U.K.'s Antitrust Ruling

Microsoft has officially appealed against the U.K.'s decision to prevent its massive $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the powerhouse behind "Call of Duty," according to a company spokesperson. This announcement comes after a rejection from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Britain's antitrust watchdog.

U.K. Antitrust Authority's Rejection of the Mega-Deal

In a surprising move last April, the CMA disapproved the landmark transaction, citing potential harmful effects on the emerging cloud gaming industry. Microsoft submitted its much-anticipated appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), the body that oversees appeals against CMA decisions, on the last day it could legally do so. However, a representative for the CAT declined to issue any comment regarding the appeal.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard's Response to CMA's Decision

Microsoft's communications director, Robin Koch, confirmed the appeal, reiterating the company's commitment to the transaction. The CMA's unexpected decision to obstruct the largest-ever deal in the gaming industry sparked a wave of anger from both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. They claimed the move undermined faith in the U.K. as a reliable hub for tech enterprises.

E.U. and U.S. Regulatory Stance on the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard Deal

Earlier this month, European Union competition authorities gave the deal their approval after accepting Microsoft's proposed solutions that were closely similar to those offered in the U.K. Yet, this isn't Microsoft's only regulatory challenge - the company is also appealing against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's decision to block the deal due to concerns about stifling competition.

What the CAT's Judgement Entails

The CAT's role is to evaluate the merits of the CMA's decision and is not a forum for Microsoft to propose new resolutions. The outcome of the appeal will be keenly observed as it holds significant implications for the global gaming industry.