The protracted struggle between Microsoft and Sony for the control of Activision Blizzard has just entered a new phase. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered Sony to disclose several confidential details to its adversary, Microsoft, in response to the latter’s request for information via subpoena. In this article, we will delve into the implications of this order and what it could signify for the gaming industry
What Information Will Sony Be Required to Reveal?
Under the terms of the ruling, Sony will be required to provide Microsoft with information on exclusivity deals, as well as four years’ worth of company records dating back to January 1, 2019. Microsoft believes that this information will help to support its case for why the acquisition should be allowed to proceed. However, it’s worth noting that Sony did manage to limit the scope of the order, with Microsoft originally requesting all copies of content licensing agreements dating back to January 1, 2012. Sony argued that manually sifting through over 150,000 contracts would be excessive, and the FTC partially agreed with this argument.
Sony’s Opposition to the Acquisition
Sony has been the most outspoken opponent of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, claiming that it would violate antitrust laws and harm the video game industry as a whole. Regulators from all over the world have held hearings on the $69 billion acquisition, and Microsoft has even contacted firms like Nintendo and Nvidia to offer Activision Blizzard games for their platforms. Sony has continued to adamantly oppose the deal, despite these efforts.
The Consequences for Sony
The ruling that Sony must reveal trade secrets to Microsoft is arguably the largest consequence of the company’s continued opposition to the acquisition. As the largest opponent of the consolidation, Sony has been fighting an uphill battle from the start. While some analysts believe that Microsoft is likely to complete the acquisition, the market does not seem to share this confidence, with Activision Blizzard’s current market capitalization almost 20% below Microsoft’s all-cash offer of $95 per share.
What This Means for the Gaming Industry
The decision requiring Sony to divulge trade secrets to Microsoft may have significant repercussions for the gaming sector as a whole. Concerns will undoubtedly be raised among gaming companies and customers alike by the possibility that a business could be forced to divulge private information to a rival. Whether this decision will have any long-term effects on the industry is yet to be seen, but it is unquestionably a development worth monitoring.
The most recent development in the ongoing dispute over the acquisition of Activision Blizzard is the ruling that Sony must divulge trade secrets to Microsoft. Although Sony was able to restrict the order’s scope, the fact that it was required to give its rival access to confidential information is undoubtedly concerning. Only time will tell how this decision will affect the gaming sector as a whole, but it is unquestionably a development worth keeping an eye on.
Good. The Sonly Exclusive content deals suck for consumers. They need to stop.