The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal reportedly paused work with Microsoft and the nation’s competition regulator over a bid to acquire games publisher Activision Blizzard after the watchdog decided to take a fresh look at the deal.
Reuters reported a tribunal hearing involving Microsoft and the Competition and Markets Authority was put on ice for two months following a decision by the latter to extend the timeline for its review of the proposed transaction.
The news agency stated the tribunal adjourned a hearing scheduled to take place on 28 July.
A Microsoft representative welcomed the move, telling Mobile World Live it continues to consider “how the transaction might be modified to address the CMA’s concerns”.
The tribunal pressed the CMA to provide details on any material change in its opposition to deal.
A tribunal judge stated he was willing to adjourn the hearing provided the CMA provided information about whether there had been a material change in circumstances of its opposition to the deal, or if there was a special reason that justified the adjournment application.
A key stumbling block may have been overcome earlier this week, when Microsoft revealed it had reached a deal to ensure major Activision Blizzard title Call of Duty will remain on rival console maker Sony’s PlayStation.
Most regulators have cited concerns over the competitive impact of the deal on the broader gaming sector as reasons for careful scrutiny of the transaction.