Microsoft has filed an appeal against UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) to acquire Activision Blizzard in an ongoing saga that has lasted for years. The hearing is set to start on July 24 and is expected to last up to ten days, according to a report by Videogameschronicle.com. The UK’s regulatory body blocked the acquisition in April, a decision that Microsoft rejected immediately.
The Tribunal will review the case and the decision made by the CMA with regards to whether or not it made the right ruling in April. On the other hand, despite Microsoft defining concerns with cloud gaming, major international markets – namely-the EU, South Korea, and China-have approved of the deal. The EU specifically accepted the deal, highlighting Microsoft’s proposals aimed at addressing its concerns regarding cloud gaming, the same concerns leading to the CMA blocking the deal.
Microsoft has published a comprehensive summary of its case goin against the decision and the key points behind it. Microsoft’s corporate vice president and Deputy General Counsel Rima Alaily said the CMA’s decision is flawed for many reasons, including overestimating the role of cloud streaming in gaming and Microsoft’s place in it, as well as being reluctant to consider solutions that received overwhelming support from the industry.
Court battle proceeding soon
Although the hearing date for the Tribunal was set, the CMA pushed for a later hearing date to give it enough time to prepare adequately for the court battle. Despite Microsoft urging judges to proceed as soon as possible, the hearings will take place on July 24. The deal is set to be completed on July 18, so Microsoft was likely hoping for a court date earlier than that. However, it’d overshoot the contractual merger deadline regardless, since the hearing with the FTC regarding the deal was scheduled for August 2.
There’s no word from Activision Blizzard regarding the block by the CMA, but the company recently highlighted a clause in the contract, allowing the agreement to be broken if any government impedes it with no chance for appeal. Missing the merger date presents the perfect occasion for either firm to back out of the deal because two of the business’s main gaming markets stand in the way. Although Microsoft didn’t rule out removing Activision Blizzard titles from territories that don’t approve the merger, it’s unlikely that both the companies would operate in such a way if both the USA and UK remain unconvinced. Although, Microsoft’s shareholders seem concerned about the revenue loss caused by such a move.
Our team of industry experts predicted the future of this deal in a recent publication where we listed Activision Blizzard as one of the top mobile game makers of 2022.