Microsoft has revealed it’s working on a mobile gaming app store to compete against Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The company disclosed the plan in a filing to UK regulators, which was noticed by The Verge. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is conducting an investigation into whether Microsoft should be permitted to acquire Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion.

The government regulator is concerned the deal will reduce competition in the video game industry since Activision Blizzard is the developer behind several major gaming franchises, including Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Call of Duty. But on Tuesday, Microsoft sent a 33-page response defending its plan to buy the company. In the same document, the company also mentions how Activision Blizzard promises to bolster Microsoft’s secret effort to create a rival to the app stores from Google and Apple.

“The Transaction will improve Microsoft’s ability to create a next generation game store which operates across a range of devices, including mobile as a result of the addition of Activision Blizzard’s content,” Microsoft wrote in the filing. “Building on Activision Blizzard’s existing communities of gamers, Xbox will seek to scale the Xbox Store to mobile, attracting gamers to a new Xbox Mobile Platform.”

Of course, Microsoft could build such a platform without the acquisition. But Redmond argues the various game franchises from Activision Blizzard are crucial in attracting consumers to try out the mobile game store.

“Shifting consumers away from the Google Play Store and App Store on mobile devices will, however, require a major shift in consumer behavior. Microsoft hopes that by offering well-known and popular content, gamers will be more inclined to try something new,” Microsoft added.

The company also plans on building the mobile platform with Microsoft’s “Open App Store Principles,” which were announced in February. These principles have been designed to ensure third-party developers can sell their apps with fewer restrictions and requirements compared to Google Play and the Apple App Store.

PC Magazine