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Microsoft files appeal against UK decision to block its Activision Blizzard deal

Microsoft has officially lodged its appeal against the UK antitrust regulator’s decision to block its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

In April, the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) said it was preventing the $69 billion deal due to concerns about its impact on the nascent cloud gaming market.

Microsoft and Activision quickly confirmed their intention to appeal the CMA’s ruling, which the regulator has claimed will stop the acquisition from going ahead globally, with the former calling it “bad for Britain” and the latter labelling it “irrational”.

And on Wednesday a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg that the company had officially lodged its appeal.

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The case is set to be reviewed by the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, which aims to complete “straightforward” cases in under nine months, according to its website.

However, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick recently said he’s anticipating the case to be fast-tracked.

“I think we and Microsoft and our barristers, who are exceptionally experienced at judicial review, think that there’s a way to accelerate the process, and that the conclusions were so flawed, that we should be able to get an accelerated result,” he told CNBC.

Last week, the European Commission and China’s competition regulator cleared the controversial deal, which would see Microsoft gain ownership of popular gaming franchises including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

“China’s unconditional clearance of our acquisition of Activision Blizzard follows clearance decisions from jurisdictions such as the European Union and Japan, bringing the total to 37 countries representing more than two billion people,” Microsoft said in a statement issued to TechRaptor.

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