Great Britain CMA stalemates Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal

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The Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal is being blocked in the UK. And Activision Blizzard says it expects an “accelerated” appeals process. And will definitely appeal the ruling that blocks the online gaming company’s merger with Microsoft.

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UK competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), blocked the $69 billion merger deal. And cited concerns about its potential impact on the future of the cloud gaming market.

Both companies, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft, immediately confirmed that they would appeal the CMA’s decision. The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal will review the appeal, which aims to complete straightforward cases in less than nine months.

Activision Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick criticized the CMA’s ruling as “irrational” and argued that their fears are not based on facts.

According to Kotick, the transaction was only going to enhance opportunities for competition, players, and employees. He claimed that the ruling was so flawed that it would actually create a lessening of competition, which is the opposite of the CMA’s mission.

Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal

It remains to be seen whether the case can be resolved before the current merger agreement expires on July 18. If the deal falls through, Activision Blizzard would have to pay a $3 billion termination fee.