A few weeks after the UK's Competition and Markets Authority blocked Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard, the CMA has stepped in again to prevent both companies from acquiring an interest in each other.
The regulator posted the new order today (via Business Insider). It stated Microsoft cannot buy an interest in Activision Blizzard, nor can the game publisher buy an interest in Microsoft, without the permission of the CMA.
The UK regulator previously rejected Microsoft's plan to buy Activision Blizzard for $69 billion because of concerns that such a move would allow Microsoft to control too much of the small cloud gaming market. Microsoft said it will file an appeal of that ruling. Activision Blizzard reportedly hired a top UK lawyer, Ford David Pannick FC, to represent the company for that appeal process, which could take months to complete.
Meanwhile, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard await the decision of the European Union's regulators about the deal. Recent unconfirmed reports claim the EU will in fact approve of the acquisition, but even if that does happen, Microsoft cannot close the deal without going through the appeal of the CMA ruling.