Microsoft to Challenge CMA’s Decision, Hires Successful Corporate Lawyer
In an effort to overcome a ruling by Britain’s competition watchdog blocking its proposed $69 billion gaming merger, Microsoft has hired a lawyer who has frequently prevailed against the EU.
As it is ready to file an appeal at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the coming days, the US IT giant has hired Daniel Beard KC.
After the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) banned the transaction last month, the corporation is hoping a judicial appeal will save its $69 billion (£55 billion) acquisition of Activision, the video game developer behind Call of Duty.
As a well-known expert in the field of competition law, Mr. Beard of Monckton Chambers has successfully challenged the EU’s recent multibillion-dollar fines against Apple and Intel.
After Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, alleged that Ireland had given Apple unlawful state assistance, he defended Apple in an appeal against a €13 billion (£11.4 billion) EU tax claim. Apple prevailed in the appeal, but Ms. Vestager is now requesting that the ruling be reinstated.
Microsoft is Determined to Challenge CMA’s Decision on the Activision Merger
The two businesses’ July 18 deadline to finalize the merger is likely to be extended by several months if they file an appeal with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). Due to US authorities’ legal challenge to the merger, the deadline is already expected to be prolonged.
If Microsoft is successful in its appeal of the CMA’s judgment, the matter may be remanded to the regulator for further consideration. The corporation may then appeal the CAT’s decision to the Court of Appeal.
Despite the CMA ban, Microsoft has said that it is still “fully committed” to the transaction. Activision will back Microsoft’s appeal, according to Bobby Kotick, the company’s chief executive. In response to the transaction being rejected, he stated: “We’re confident in our case because the facts are on our side: this deal is good for competition.”