The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal has conditionally agreed to pause Microsoft’s appeal of the UK’s Competition And Markets Authority’s (CMA) prior decision to block the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Both Microsoft and the UK’s Competition And Markets Authority requested more time to negotiate, just before the CMA’s decision deadline. For the appeal to be halted, though, certain evidence still needs to be provided by by Thursday, July 20. Further time for negotiation could mean a brief delay in Microsoft’s acquisition.
According to The Verge, the CMA has extended the date for its final order from July 18 to August 29. Therefore, it’s possible that the deal will only resolve after July 18, though exactly when is unknown. However, if the deal extends beyond July 18, Microsoft will need to apply for an extension or pay Activision a $3 billion fee. Between Microsoft’s defeat of the FTC and Activision’s removal from the NASDAQ stock exchange, it was possible the acquisition would be finished in the next 24 hours. Now, it looks as though it may take a little longer.
Back in April, the CMA blocked the acquisition over concerns about a cloud gaming monopoly. Microsoft appealed soon after. Recently, negotiations between the CMA and Microsoft broke new ground after the company stopped the Federal Trade Commission’s temporary injunction in court. Prior reports indicated that Microsoft was willing to offer a “small divestment,” likely something to do with cloud gaming in the UK.
In other Microsoft news, the company is ending Xbox Live Gold and rebranding it as Xbox Game Pass Core. Microsoft and Sony also reached a deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation.
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