Microsoft has officially filed its appeal to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), in an effort to overturn its decision to block the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Bloomberg confirmed the filing had been made on Wednesday, the day of deadline for the appeal.
Now, it appears Microsoft is in for a long wait – as the appeals process could reportedly take up to nine months. In the meantime, Microsoft will need to contend with challenges from other regions, including the United States.
Recently, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) indicated its intention to block Microsoft’s proposed acquisition, citing the potential for Microsoft to suppress competition with its dominance in the cloud-gaming business.
This was also cited in the CMA’s justification for blocking the deal, as it alleged the merger ‘could harm current and future gamers, as ‘by stifling competition in the growing and dynamic market for cloud gaming services, the merger could alter the future of gaming.’
Microsoft’s appeal has been lodged with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), which oversees decisions made by the CMA – but it it has a historic track record of maintaining CMA decisions. According to Reuters, the CAT judges the merits of individual case decisions, and does not allow remedies to be provided as part of the appeal process.
That likely means recent Microsoft announcements of ten-year streaming deals and partnerships with a variety of cloud-streaming companies like Boosteroid and Nware will not be considered in this appeals process.
The CAT judgement is essentially a second opinion on the CMA ruling, and both organisations operate within the same rules of law and competition. While there is still a possibility of the decision being overturned, we’ll have to wait several months for a tangible outcome.
Stay tuned for more as it develops.