Back in April, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) struck a major blow to Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, blocking the deal due to concerns over the creation of a cloud gaming monopoly.
An appeal from Microsoft is on the way for July 24 and now we have confirmation that Activision Blizzard has permission to add its own arguments to the case.
Trying to overturn
The CMA has also placed an additional ban on both companies, stopping them from carrying out the acquisition without its permission.
Many other countries have already approved the deal, making the CMA appear to be an outlier in its concerns, together with the US; the Federal Trade Commission has also blocked the deal, which Microsoft is also appealing.
China and Ukraine both gave their approval last month via the State Administration for Market Regulation and Antimonopoly Committee respectively, although the latter did express some concerns around competition. Ultimately, as Microsoft and Activision Blizzard don’t have economic activity in Ukraine as regards cloud gaming services, the country approved the deal.
Notably, Xbox’s cloud services aren’t available in China either, so any worries about a Microsoft cloud gaming monopoly are surely of far less concern there than in the UK.
However, Microsoft believes that the CMA has ignored its deals relating to cloud gaming while the EU has decided to give the go-ahead, specifically highlighting the company’s proposed solutions to address cloud gaming concerns.
Microsoft has insisted that its key interest is in Activision Blizzard’s mobile strength, but whether the cloud gaming hurdle can be overcome remains to be seen.