By Sarah Needleman

 

Microsoft filed an appeal Wednesday against the U.K.'s decision to block its $75 billion deal for Activision Blizzard, a spokesman for the software company told the Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft had pledged to fight the Competition and Markets Authority's ruling after it was issued last month. The CMA said in its decision that the deal would alter the fast-growing cloud-gaming market and lead to less innovation and choice for U.K. gamers.

Microsoft has said the deal won't hurt competition and that it's committed to licensing Activision's games, including ones from its popular Call of Duty franchise, to rivals.

Antitrust lawyers say appeals can move relatively quickly in the U.K., but the threshold for overturning a CMA ruling is high.

While regulators in Europe, China and other markets have approved the deal, it is in peril because of the U.K. It would be difficult for a combined Microsoft-Activision to operate completely outside that market because the videogame industry is complex and global. The U.K. is the six largest market by country for videogame software sales, according to industry tracker Newzoo.

 

Write to Sarah Needleman at sarah.needleman@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 24, 2023 14:56 ET (18:56 GMT)

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