Both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft have reportedly hired high-profile lawyers to head their appeals for the recent decision made by the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to block their almost $70 billion acquisition.
According to The Financial Times, Activision Blizzard has hired Lord David Pannick KC, who has previously represented Queen Elizabeth II, Boris Johnson, and Princess Diana. Pannick works for Blackstone Chambers, with some of his clients including the prime minister of the UAE and even the entire kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His most recent case involved the former prime minister Boris Johnson and the minister’s “partygate” scandal.
Microsoft has retained the legal services of Daniel Beard KC of Monckton Chambers, as reported by The Telegraph. Beard has been described as a big name in the market of legal matters pertaining to competition, public policy, and regulatory issues.
The Financial Times reported that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will file appeals independently within the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal.
The CMA blocked Microsoft’s purchase on April 26th, over concerns over the cloud gaming market. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has stated the company doesn’t need to acquire Activision Blizzard to move forward with its ambitions in the gaming market, but finishing this deal would simply speed this process up.
“The CMA decision was disappointing. We’ve been talking to that group for coming up on a year. They defined a market of cloud gaming that, in my mind, doesn’t really exist yet today. But they have a point of view that maybe we have a lead in a market that is just forming and that this content could somehow prohibit others from competing in that market,” Spencer said. “Activision Blizzard King is not our strategy. But it is an accelerant for our strategy.”