Britain’s Competition Appeal Tribunal Grants Adjournment on Microsoft-Activision Deal
The Britain’s Competition Appeal Tribunal has granted the adjournment application jointly requested by the UK antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and Microsoft as part of Microsoft’s plan to acquire Activision Blizzard, the maker of popular video game franchise ‘Call of Duty.’
The CMA is currently awaiting a modified deal structure from Microsoft, which the software giant expects will address the regulatory concerns raised by the UK authorities.
In order to allow Microsoft to submit this revised proposal, the CMA has extended its final deadline for a decision on the deal to 29 August.
Both the CMA and Microsoft have applied to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to pause the appeals process, and this request has been agreed upon by the tribunal.
The CMA’s initial decision in April was to block the $69 billion deal due to concerns about the potential impact on competition in the cloud gaming market. However, the CMA has since reopened discussions with Microsoft, indicating a willingness to reconsider the deal under revised terms.
The software giant explained that the deal should now be given the green light, since the binding commitments were accepted by the European Union shortly after Britain had blocked the deal.
The software company gave legally-binding commitments to European authorities that Activision games can be streamed for a decade after the merger, and has entered into agreements with NVIDIA, Boosteroid and Ubitus.
As part of that, a monitoring and enforcement regime will be established, which Microsoft said should ease some of the CMA's concerns.
The adjournment granted by the Competition Appeal Tribunal would allow Microsoft and the CMA to continue working towards a resolution that addresses the concerns raised by the regulatory authorities.
The adjournment provides Microsoft with the opportunity to present a modified deal structure that addresses the competition issues in the cloud gaming market, so as to receive regulatory approval.