Microsoft Wants Sony to Give Away Confidential Info Because of FTC Lawsuit

Microsoft has issued a subpoena to Sony to try and force the company to reveal confidential business information that could help Microsoft’s case to the FTC.

By LCLupus, Posted 25 Jan 2023

The battle for Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard-King continues. The attempted merger has received a lot of pushback from various sources, but in an attempt to fight some of them off, Microsoft has decided to throw a bit of a curveball. The tech giant decided to issue a subpoena to Sony in an attempt to get the PlayStation 5 developer to reveal its upcoming business plans.

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This was first reported by Video Games Chronicle, but the official filing can be read directly. The general logic behind this seemingly strange request is that Microsoft believes confidential business information about Sony will help its own case, because the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, in the United States has issued a lawsuit and the EU has also pushed back on this merger. Microsoft needs to find some way to prove that this acquisition won’t lead to Microsoft becoming a gaming monopoly if it succeeds in buying the developer and publisher of games like Call of Duty and Candy Crush.

Sony has been one of the most vocal opponents of this merger, and one of its most consistent claims is that franchises like Call of Duty are immensely important for the PlayStation platform. Microsoft promised a ten-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to the PlayStation platform, but ten years can go by quickly in the business world, so Sony wants Call of Duty to keep appearing on its platforms for far longer than ten years. The company denied Microsoft’s promise.

This subpoena will therefore show whether or not Sony really does consider Call of Duty, and similar Activision-Blizzard-King franchises, to be that important to its business. This subpoena was issued on 17 January and the initial response date was set for 20 January, but that has been pushed until the 27th. So, we should learn sooner rather than later how Sony will respond to this somewhat bizarre request. This kind of information is the stuff businesses like to keep secret because you don’t want to show your competitors what your plans are for the next few years, so Sony will probably fight it. However, only time will tell.

Justin van Huyssteen (@LC_Lupus)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Activision
Developer(s): Sledgehammer Games
Genres: First Person Shooter
Themes: WW2, Action, Multiplayer
Release Date: 2021-11-05

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