Microsoft Reportedly Enlists "EU-Beating" Lawyer to Appeal CMA's Block on Activision Merger

Microsoft has reportedly hired a lawyer with a track record of defeating the EU in competition cases to appeal the UK regulator's decision to block its Activision Blizzard acquisition.

Microsoft has reportedly hired a lawyer who has a track record of successful outcomes in competition cases against the EU regulator. The tech giant is said to have brought on this lawyer to help it appeal the decision made by the UK regulator to block its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked the acquisition deal last month, citing concerns about the potential impact on competition in the cloud gaming market. However, as per The Telegraph report (via Yahoo Finance), Microsoft has now enlisted the services of Daniel Beard KC and is expected to file an appeal at the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal within a few days.

The Telegraph's article describes Beard as a "leading competition barrister" who is known for reversing major decisions made by the EU regulator. 

He represented Apple in its successful appeal against the EU's €13 billion tax demand, which claimed that Ireland provided illegal state aid. He also assisted Intel in successfully overturning a €1.1 billion fine imposed by the EU for alleged unfair dominance in the microchip market.

Microsoft is now reportedly banking on Beard to achieve similar success in appealing the CMA's decision to prevent the company's acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Meanwhile, the EU is conducting its own investigation into the acquisition and is anticipated to issue its verdict in the next two weeks. Although "sources close to the investigation" predict that the EU will approve the deal, as per the article.

In addition, Microsoft faces a legal fight in the United States, as the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against the company to prevent the acquisition as it alleges that Microsoft's control of Activision's games might "suppress competition from rival consoles."

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