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Microsoft Hires “EU-Beating” Lawyer to Help Dismiss CMA Block on Activision Merger

Microsoft is reportedly hiring a top-notch lawyer to try to overturn its recent block from purchasing Activision Blizzard. Last month, the CMA blocked the merger which would see Microsoft take ownership of Activision Blizzard for a record-breaking $69 billion.

The company has already publicly stated that it will appeal the block. It claims that while the CMA’s judgement was disappointing, it won’t stop its attempts to get the deal approved. Multiple countries had already approved the sale including South Africa’s Competition Council.

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According to The Telegraph, the company has now hired Daniel Beard KC and is planning to appeal the CMA’s block. Microsoft is working to lodge the appeal at the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal this week.

According to sources, Daniel Beard KC is described as a “leading competition barrister” and has a reputation for overturning decisions made by the EU regulator. He is especially known for tackling large-scale decisions.

Beard was the man who represented Apple after the EU filed a suit against the company to pay €13 billion in taxes. Apple won the appeal after the EU claimed Ireland offered the company illegal state aid. He also helped Intel win its €1.1 billion case against the EU when it claimed the company was unfairly dominating the microchip market.

Getting Beard on board is clearly a smart move from Microsoft. His previous experience is no doubt fitting for this case.

Microsoft has many hurdles to jump over in the Activision merger. Not only is the EU regulator blocking its sale but the United States Federal Trade Commission is also suing the company in a bid to block the deal too. The FTC says it has issues over competition concerns.

Microsoft is hoping to appeal all of these current blocks and will have to take on each one carefully. It will likely be a while before we know the final judgement of the merger.

Source: The Telegraph

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.


  • M 8 May 2023

    I could be wrong saying this, but I think MS is wasting a lot of cash on this lawyer because even if they manage to get this appeal passed. You know what happens?? It goes back to the CMA for reapproval and I don’t see the CMA changing their minds on this deal, especially after the way Brad Smith and Bobby Kotnick have been acting. They been acting like spoiled children going so far as to threaten the UK government because they’ve been told they no.

    Which is funny because the government has no power over the CMA because they’re an independent group unlike the EUA from what I’m understanding. Not only that, but out of all the appeals 70% were in the CMA favor. That’s not a good number for MS. If an article I read is right about this static and other information, when it comes to merger appeals that involve antitrust…the CMA has never lost. MS also has to prove to the CTA that the CMA acted irrationally, illegally or with procedural impropriety which I highly doubt there is any evidence of, but weirder and more unexpected things have happened like this deal being blocked.

    • Marco Cocomello 9 May 2023

      Agreed here. Definitely a strange move. Can’t imagine the money that has been spent up to this point already. And the CMA isn’t the only ongoing legal battle they have to tackle now.

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