Microsoft and UK CMA extend merger negotiation window after appeal gets paused

The UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal has agreed to pause Microsoft's appeal of the CMA decision to block the Activision Blizzard merger, which gives the latter two parties extra time to negotiate.


As Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues to look like an inevitability by the day, the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority remains one of the lone remaining obstacles against the deal moving forward. Microsoft and the CMA have been looking to negotiate a deal that would satisfy all parties and allow the acquisition to go through, and it looks like those negotiations will need some extra time. The UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal appears to agree and has paused Microsoft's appeal of the CMA's decision to block the merger.

The CAT's appeal came on Monday, July 17, 2023, according to The Verge's Tom Warren. Both Microsoft and the CMA had requested the pause in hopes of extending the negotiation period, which would address a big sticking point regarding cloud gaming. This comes on the heels of the CMA recently extending its decision deadline to August.

The UK CAT temporarily adjourns the case of Microsoft v. the CMA

Source: The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal

Outside of the CMA, most of the roadblocks preventing Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard have been cleared. The biggest one came from the United States Federal Trade Commission, where a judge last week ruled in favor of Microsoft. An appeal by the FTC to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was denied days later.

The question regarding Activision Blizzard joining the Microsoft family no longer appears to be a matter of "if" but of "when." We'll continue to monitor negotiations between Microsoft and the CMA and what results from them. Keep it on Shacknews for any updates.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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