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Microsoft subpoenaed Sony to the FTC’s Activision Blizzard court hearing



Image: Reuters

Here we go, then. It’s been almost a year since Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. In terms of major industry news, it doesn’t get much bigger than this, and the result is a story that has lasted a full 12 months. The saga isn’t likely to end anytime soon, either; The Federal Trade Commission filed a legal complaint about the proposed deal, blocking it from going through and forcing a court hearing later this year. Fast forward to now, and Microsoft’s preparations include making sure Sony attends.

The company has subpoenaed Sony — essentially a legal order to appear in court — meaning the platform holder would need to be prepared to provide its data during the hearing. It was issued on January 17, and Sony has requested an extension to January 27 to prepare its response.

Microsoft has until April 7 to build its defense and gather information to support the deal. Part of that defense appears to revolve around Sony and its production capabilities, though the extent of what the company has to disclose is still under negotiation.

A hearing at the FTC is scheduled for August 2, where Microsoft will need to, in essence, convince the government body that the deal will not harm the industry and its competitors. Sony has been publicly against the acquisition for obvious reasons, so it will be reluctant to release too many details for fear of bolstering Microsoft’s case.

It’s all getting hotter as we approach summer, but it’s far from over.


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