So let’s get started. About a year has passed since Microsoft revealed its plan to pay a whopping $69 billion to acquire Activision Blizzard. It doesn’t get much bigger than that in terms of significant industry news, and the result is a story that has persisted for a full 12 months. The Federal Trade Commission filed a legal complaint regarding the proposed deal, preventing it from going through and forcing a court hearing later this year. As a result, the saga is unlikely to come to an end any time soon. Today’s preparations by Microsoft also include ensuring that Sony will be present.
The platform owner will need to get ready to present its own data during the hearing because Sony has been subpoenaed by the company, which is essentially a court order to appear. Sony has asked for an extension until January 27 in order to prepare its response. This was issued on January 17th.
Microsoft has until April 7 to prepare its defense and gather data in support of the agreement. Although the extent of what Sony must disclose is still being negotiated, it appears that part of that defense centers around Sony and its production capabilities.
On August 2, the FTC will hold a hearing, during which Microsoft will, in essence, need to persuade the regulatory body that the deal won’t harm the sector or its rivals. For fairly obvious reasons, Sony has publicly opposed the acquisition, so it will be hesitant to provide too many details for fear of endorsing Microsoft’s position.
As summer approaches, everything will intensify, but this conflict is far from over.