Earlier in July, Microsoft and the UK Competition and Markets Authority got permission from the UK Competition Appeals Tribunal to pause their previously planned court battle over the CMA’s decision in April to block Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Today, the CMA posted a new submission by Microsoft regarding changes since its initial decision and is now inviting comments from the general public on Microsoft’s submission.
The lengthy document from Microsoft (in PDF format) points to several different events since the CMA’s decision. They include the approval of the Activision Blizzard purchase by the European Union in May. That decision was conditional, however, with both oversight and consequences to Microsoft if it fails to fulfill its pledged and signed obligations to a number of cloud gaming services that it would offer both its own and Activision Blizzard games to those services.
It also mentioned the most recent development, in which Microsoft and Sony signed a 10-year agreement that would allow the Call of Duty game franchise to continue on Sony’s PlayStation platform.
In its own document (again in PDF format), the CMA admitted that this current situation, where it is being asked to reconsider its previous decision due to “material change of circumstance or special reasons are very rare.’ It added:
It is not a usual part of the CMA’s process during a remedies implementation period to consult on submissions received in response to a consultation on a proposed undertaking or order. However, in light of the guidance provided by the Competition Appeal Tribunal on this specific case, the Inquiry Group has decided it is appropriate to do so in this case.
The CMA is now taking comments from anyone who wants to address the new Microsoft submission by the end of the day on Friday, August 4, via email at [email protected].
The CMA currently has a deadline of August 29 to finish its new investigation of the Microsoft/Activision deal, although it has stated it wants to make a decision much sooner than that date. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have agreed to extend their own deadline to finally close the deal to October 18.