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The private anti-trust action, which was brought by ten video game players in the US, argued that the $69 billion deal could substantially lessen competition or create a monopoly in violation of the Clayton Act.
The lawsuit was initially dismissed in March after District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley found it failed to present sufficient evidence to support their claims.
Microsoft has issued an update claiming that the contents of the e-mail are from 2019, before its offer for Activision Blizzard:
As spotted by Axios, a key piece of the plaintiff’s evidence is alleged to be an internal e-mail they say was sent by Microsoft’s head of Xbox game studios, Matt Booty, to Microsoft’s chief financial officer for Xbox, Tim Stuart.
The purported internal Microsoft email is described as “uncontroverted evidence that Microsoft had the intention to put its main competition, the Sony PlayStation, out of the market.”
The passage is said to be from ‘Exhibit K’, one of the sealed documents that the opposing lawyers have been debating.
In legal documents, Microsoft describes the email as an “internal exchange” that should remain sealed and claims it has no bearing on the court’s decisions.
The lawsuit is separate from Microsoft’s defence against the US Federal Trade Commission, which is currently seeking a preliminary injunction to block the Xbox maker from acquiring Activision Blizzard.
On Tuesday, Microsoft and the FTC shared their witness lists for an evidentiary hearing set to begin this week, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, Bethesda’s publishing boss Pete Hines, and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.