Yesterday we reported on the latest in Microsoft’s bid to acquire gaming giant Activision Blizzard. We reported that Microsoft is requesting a quick resolution of its appeal of the CMA’s decision to block the deal in the U.K. A day later, it looks like Microsoft will get its way in this regard, as the hearing has now been set for late July.
The hearings will be conducted by the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) between July 24 through July 31. The judge in the case, Marcus Smith, said
I’m not expecting it to take the whole of those 10 days but I would like the parties to err on the side of longer rather than shorter oral submissions. It seems to me that that is an excess that we can afford.
There is a tendency—and it’s very much driven by the Tribunal rather than the parties—to cut submissions to shorter than they perhaps ought to be. I want to do the reverse in this case. I want to have the parties understand that we will want to give them every opportunity to unpack the difficulties of this case in oral submissions and for us to have the time to do that.”
The CMA had been requesting more time to prepare for the appeal, pushing for a late September/October window for the hearing. For its part, Activision was also pushing for an accelerated appeal process, with CEO Bobby Kotick saying “I think we and Microsoft and our barristers…think that there’s a way to accelerate the process…we should be able to get an accelerated result.”
In any case, the FTC in the United States has sued to block the merger, and that of course will present an entirely separate challenge. That case won’t begin until August, well after the initial merger agreement between Microsoft and Activision expires on July 18.
Via Pure Xbox.
Featured image via Pymnts.com.