As expected, Microsoft has officially appealed the UK Competition Authority’s decision to block a $69 billion deal with Activision Blizzard. According to a company representative, the lawsuit was filed with the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT).
Earlier this month, the EU approved one of the biggest deals in gaming history, in contradiction to the lockdown decision taken by the UK regulator just before. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it remains committed to its decision to put the deal on hold, arguing that it allows Microsoft to dictate conditions in the cloud gaming market.
The judicial review process can take up to nine months. Cases in the CAT are usually heard by three judges, one of whom must have specialist knowledge. Meanwhile, the tech giant has yet to face up to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in court for filing a lawsuit to block the Microsoft Activision deal. The process will only start in early August and the decision will most likely not be made until the end of the year.
Microsoft faces an uphill battle as the court’s powers are limited to examining the legality of the decision-making process and not the facts on which it was based. If the CAT decides there was an error in the decision, it will refer the case back to the CMA. To date, the CMA has never reversed a decision on a case returned to it by CAT.