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Microsoft officially files appeal of the UK CMA ruling against the Activision Blizzard deal

The Microsoft and Activision Blizzard logos

As promised back in April, Microsoft has now officially filed an appeal of the decision by the UK Competition and Markets Authority to block Microsoft's planned $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The report of Microsoft's formal appeal was posted on Twitter by Bloomberg reporter Katharine Gemmell (via GameSpot).

The appeal itself will be handled by the CMA's Competition Appeal Tribunal. It's currently unknown what Microsoft said in its formal papers on why it feels the CMA's decision should be overturned.

The CMA revealed its decision to block Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard on April 26. At the time, the regulatory group felt that if Microsoft bought the game publisher, it could leverage games like the Call of Duty franchise as exclusives on Microsoft's small cloud gaming service, giving it an unfair competitive advantage.

Before the decision, Microsoft made deals with a number of other cloud gaming services, including NVIDIA GeForce Now, Boosteroid, and others. The company said it would make its games available for those services, and Activision Blizzard games when the deal goes through, for at least 10 years. However, those moves were not enough for the CMA.

Since the decision, both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have issued statements that were highly critical of the CMA's decision. Activision Blizzard's CEO Bobby Kotick was especially blunt, stating in one interview:

It was so flawed in every way, that it’s going to create a lessening of competition which is the opposite of what their mission is. And so we think the appeals tribunal will see that and rule in our favour.

There's no word on when or if Activision Blizzard will make its own appeal of the CMA's decision. However, the game publisher has hired the high-powered attorney Lord David Pannick FC to represent it during the appeals process.

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