Gaming giant Activision Blizzard has been granted permission to aid Microsoft in its fight to overturn the blocking of its $69bn takeover by the UK’s anti-trust regulator.
Microsoft is currently fighting to appeal a decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) who voted to block the deal over concerns of stifling competition in the nascent cloud gaming market.
The new permission means that Activision will be able to state its case alongside Microsoft at the Competition Appeal Tribunal next month.
“We remain fully committed to this acquisition and will appeal,” Microsoft president Brad Smith said at the time.
“The CMA’s decision rejects a pragmatic path to address competition concerns and discourages technology innovation and investment in the United Kingdom,” he added.
The decision was met with criticism from both companies, who saw the blocking as a sign that UK was stifling technology firms.
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Microsoft’s president Brad Smith told BBC Radio in April: “If the government of the United Kingdom wants to bring in investment, if it wants to create jobs (…) it needs to look hard at the role of the CMA, the regulatory structure in the United Kingdom, this transaction, and the message that the United Kingdom has just said to the world.”
The CMA was accused by Microsoft’s lawyers of being a global “outlier” for its decision to block the takeover.
The European Commission, which also investigated the deal, decided to approve it after stating its concerns had been addressed.
However, like the UK, the US Federal Trade Commission has also decided to block the deal. This is also under appeal.
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