One of Sony’s primary objections to the $68.7 billion deal is the fact that it would see Microsoft gain control of Call of Duty, a franchise PlayStation called “irreplaceable” in a recent filing with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.
Sony has claimed that Microsoft’s ownership of Call of Duty would tip the balance of power so heavily in its favour that, ultimately, PlayStation might be unable to compete.
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It has also claimed that Microsoft’s “true strategy” behind the Activision Blizzard deal is to have PlayStation “become like Nintendo” and not compete in the 18-rated shooter space.
With the future of the Call of Duty series as a multiplatform product being one of the key areas being scrutinised by worldwide regulators, Microsoft said this week that it has offered Sony a 10-year, legally enforceable contract to make each new series entry available on PlayStation the same day it comes to Xbox. And on Wednesday it said it has also offered similar deals to Nintendo and Steam.
“There’s been one game industry participant that’s really been raising all the objections, and that’s Sony, and they’ve been fairly public about the things that don’t meet their expectations,” he said. “From where we sit, it’s clear they’re spending more time with the regulators than they are with us to try and get this deal done.”
Spencer added: “Our intent is to become more relevant on more screens. We have a pretty good idea of how to build a win-win relationship with Nintendo and frankly Sony.”
The European Commission and the UK’s CMA recently launched in-depth probes into Microsoft’s acquisition plans, while it’s been claimed that the US FTC could file an antitrust lawsuit in an attempt to stop the Activision deal going through.
Microsoft executives are scheduled to meet FTC chair Lina Khan and other commissioners on Wednesday in order to make their case for why the deal shouldn’t be blocked over anti-trust concerns.