Xbox formally appeals UK block on Activision deal in a process that could take 9 months
Last month, UK regulators announced their decision to block the Xbox Activision deal, and now Microsoft has formally filed its appeal.
Microsoft filed its appeal to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) at the Competition Appeal Tribunal earlier today - which is the deadline for filing - according to a report from Bloomberg. The report notes that the process "could take as long as nine months." The tribunal's role is simply to ensure that the CMA's decisions are legal, and does not make judgements on the facts used to arrive at those decisions.
As Bloomberg adds, "the CMA has never overturned a decision on any case that has been sent back to it from the CAT." Still, we're potentially looking at the better part of a year before we learn the final word on the deal on the UK.
Microsoft condemned the CMA's decision to block the purchase last month, saying that it was "disappointed that after lengthy deliberations, this decision appears to reflect a flawed understanding of this market and the way the relevant cloud technology actually works." The company announced its intent to appeal as part of that statement.
An Activision statement was even more strongly worded, saying that "the report’s conclusions are a disservice to UK citizens, who face increasingly dire economic prospects," and threatening to "reassess our growth plans for the UK."
Despite the CMA's decision, EU regulators have approved the deal, with a few provisions requiring Microsoft to bring its games to competing cloud platforms. But a global business like Xbox's is going to require global approval, and between the CMA decision and the pending FTC lawsuit, the deal's chances are looking increasingly thin.
Either way, we'll learn what Microsoft has in store for the near future in the Xbox Games Showcase.