Activision Blizzard FTC Lawsuit Lines Being Drawn, as Microsoft Subpoenas Sony for Info

Nathan Birch
PS5 Xbox Series X/S controllers Microsoft

Update: A number of outlets, including Wccftech, reported on this story under the assumption that Microsoft subpoenaing for information about the “scope of SIE’s production” meant they were looking for information about their upcoming games pipeline. That was an error. The production in question actually referred to the production of legal documents. The article has been updated to reflect this better understanding.

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard recently hit a major stumbling block when the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed suit to block the deal, and as has been the case with every step of this process, it seems Sony will be deeply involved in the lawsuit. The legal wrangling between the two console makers has already begun as according to a court filing uncovered by Video Games Chronicle, Microsoft has subpoenaed Sony in an attempt to get them to share certain documents. The specific contents of these documents, and how they might relate to the case, are currently unknown.

According to the official legal filing, “negotiations between [Sony Interactive Entertainment] and Microsoft as to the scope of SIE’s production and a discovery schedule are ongoing” with Sony asking for an extension to either respond or present a reason for quashing the request. The subpoena was originally issued on January 17 and Microsoft was asking for a response by January 20, but it seems they’ve agreed to the extension. Sony will now have until January 27 to respond.

Much of the legal wrangling between Microsoft and Sony over the Activision Blizzard deal has centered on whether the Call of Duty franchise is truly essential or not. This has resulted in the odd spectacle of Sony arguing that the PlayStation brand can’t stand on its own without Call of Duty and Microsoft pleading that Call of Duty actually isn’t that important, despite them offering to pay $69 billion for it.

Microsoft has until April 7 to submit the evidence they believe is relative to the case to the FTC.

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