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Microsoft appeals against UK watchdog’s veto of Activision Blizzard takeover

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Microsoft has filed an appeal against the UK competition watchdog’s decision to block its $69bn (£56bn) acquisition of the Call of Duty creator Activision Blizzard.The US tech company confirmed that it had formally lodged an appeal against the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) verdict against the deal last month.

Its case will be argued before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).Activision argued last month that the CMA’s decision was a sign that the UK was “clearly closed for business”.

Microsoft, which makes the Xbox gaming console, said the CMA’s move “discourages technology innovation and investment” in the UK.Legal experts have said the CMA decision has dealt a potentially fatal blow to the takeover, which was approved by the EU this month.The CMA and the EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, both focused on cloud gaming, which allows users to stream video games stored on remote servers to their devices.The CMA said the deal would hurt competition in that area and the commission agreed, but accepted Microsoft’s concessions.

The compromise involves Microsoft offering free licences over a 10-year period allowing European consumers who purchase Activision PC and console games to stream them on other cloud gaming services.

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