Microsoft Allowed Sony to Put Call of Duty on PlayStation Plus, It Has Been Claimed

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Microsoft's proposed 10-year Call of Duty licensing deal with Sony, reportedly also allowed Sony to put the franchise on PlayStation Plus.

That's what Bloomberg reporters Leah Nylen and Dina Bass now write in a new report based on a source familiar with the matter. We've included a part of Bloomberg's article down below (the full article is behind a paywall).

In a bid to win regulatory approval for its $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc., Microsoft Corp. has offered rival Sony Group Corp. the right to sell Activision blockbuster Call of Duty as part of its gaming subscription service. 

Microsoft has publicly stated that it offered Sony a 10-year deal to make Call of Duty available on the Japanese company’s PlayStation console. The proposal, which Sony hasn’t accepted, also includes rights to sell the title on the PlayStation Plus service, which gives gamers access to a catalog of games for a monthly fee, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who declined to be identified because the talks are confidential.

Last month, sources reported that Microsoft was willing to offer concessions to the EU regulators in order to shorten the regulatory process and complete its Activision-Blizzard megadeal. These concessions haven't been made to the FTC, according to a report from Bloomberg earlier this month, and Microsoft is said to be willing to go to court if the commission tries to block the deal.

"In the event the FTC tries to block the case, Microsoft is gearing up to contest that decision in court, said the person, who asked not to be identified speaking about internal strategy", Bloomberg wrote. "Bloomberg Intelligence antitrust analyst Jennifer Rie said it wouldn’t surprise her if the FTC files a lawsuit seeking to block the deal, but noted that a court fight would be hard for enforcers to win and Microsoft could prevail -- though a legal battle could stretch beyond the deal’s end date. Microsoft has said it expects to close the transaction by June 30."

Stakes are high for both parties and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft's $69 billion megadeal pans out. As always, we will keep you updated as soon as more information comes in.

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