Microsoft And UK CMA Agree To Pause Legal Battle Over Activision Blizzard Deal

Update: The CMA has warned that its latest discussions with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are at an "early stage", and a restructured deal could ultimately lead to a "new merger investigation". Here's a statement courtesy of The Verge:

"Whilst merging parties don’t have the opportunity to put forward new remedies once a final report has been issued, they can choose to restructure a deal, which can lead to a new merger investigation. Microsoft and Activision have indicated that they are considering how the transaction might be modified, and the CMA is prepared to engage with them on this basis.

These discussions remain at an early stage and the nature and timing of next steps will be determined in due course. While both parties have requested a pause in Microsoft’s appeal to allow these discussions to take place, the CMA decision set out in its final report still stands."

Original story: In the wake of today's FTC court decision, Microsoft and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have both agreed to pause their legal battle over Activision Blizzard. The two parties feel that it is in the public interest to halt court proceedings and allow Xbox to provide fresh proposals over the deal.

Microsoft President Brad Smith has shared a company statement on the move, as the Xbox owner begins "considering how the transaction might be modified" to make it work for the UK CMA. Here's the full quote from Microsoft:

"After today's court decision in the U.S., our focus now turns back to the UK. While we ultimately disagree with the CMA's concerns, we are considering how the transaction might be modified in order to address those concerns in a way that is acceptable to the CMA.

In order to prioritize work on these proposals, Microsoft and Activision have agreed with the CMA that a stay of litigation in the UK would be in the public interest and the parties have made a joint submission to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to this effect."

Any fresh proposals are yet to be detailed by Xbox or the CMA, and it sounds like the team is still figuring out how to change things in order to win over the UK authority. The CMA does welcome those proposals though, as detailed in a new statement via The Verge:

"[We are] ready to consider any proposals from Microsoft to restructure the transaction in a way that would address the concerns set out in our Final Report."

Xbox's Phil Spencer has also provided a statement on today's verdict that focuses on the positive aspects of this deal, if it goes through. You can check that out in full down below:

Do you think Microsoft will ultimately be successful in the US and UK? Leave your thoughts on these developments down below.