Microsoft Asks London’s High Court to Stay Two Months on Activision’s Appeal

Microsoft It on Monday asked a London court to stay its appeal against the British ban on its $69 billion (roughly Rs. 5,66,100 crore) seizure. Activision Blizzard to give the parties more time to settle the dispute.

Britain’s competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), in April became the first major regulator to ban access to Call of Duty maker, citing concerns about the competitive nature of cloud gaming.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also challenged the agreement, but suffered a major defeat last week when a federal court denied the FTC’s request to temporarily suspend the agreement.

In Britain, the CMA’s final report is often the final word. Companies cannot provide relief after publication and their only recourse is to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).

But last week, less than an hour after a US appeals court ruled that the deal should go ahead, the CMA said it could review the proposed changes. It later said a revised contract could meet its concerns based on a new study.

Both sides requested a two-month adjournment of the case at the CAT, which the CMA’s lawyers said in court would “allow the CMA and the parties to act quickly and effectively in accordance with Microsoft’s recommendations”.

Microsoft’s lawyers have said in court that the CMA is the “biggest obstacle” to closing the deal and stalling the case allowing both sides to try to find a solution.

However, Judge Marcus Smith said he wanted to hear from lawyers whether there was a “reasonable legal basis” for the CMA to consider a revised contract.

The judge also asked whether the FTC’s first defeat in the US was considered by the CMA.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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