Microsoft’s latest acquisition has garnered much more attention than the company had initially expected. With stiff resistance from rivals like Sony, the discourse surrounding the acquisition has led to discussions about competition in the gaming industry.
Microsoft has claimed that Xbox is much smaller than PlayStation, with the latter being dominant for several decades. This is even more true for Sony’s home market, Japan, where Xbox is hardly a threat.
Previously, U.S. Congress members have accused Sony of anti-competitive tactics in Japan. A few weeks later, a U.S. Senator from North Dakota sent a letter to Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida asking them to reveal their exclusivity documents after expressing concerns over Sony’s ‘anti-competitive’ behavior in the market.
“I write to express concern about Sony’s efforts to protect its gaming console business from competition.”
The letter goes over Sony’s gaming practices like exclusivity deals, including third-party publishers. This includes examples like Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the upcoming Final Fantasy 16, both timed console exclusives for PS5.
He also highlighted Sony’s recent acquisition of Bungie, which was followed by Sony’s arguments against Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard. The Senator believes the Activision acquisition will promote access to games in the market.
He further expressed his concerns over Sony affecting Americans through higher prices and minimizing competition and asked for unredacted copies of various documents, which included Sony’s exclusivity rights.
Additionally, the Senator asked for documents blocking games from reaching rival subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass, in addition to more details on Sony’s intentions with Bungie’s acquisition.
Sony is in a long battle against Microsoft over Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion. The acquisition is still pending, but five countries have approved it.
Things are looking in Microsoft’s favor for now, as E.U. and U.K. regulations appear to be on their way to approving the deal. Previously, Sony has used Call of Duty’s exclusivity as a standpoint to oppose the acquisition.
However, this legal battle has caused Sony to draw attention to the company as many documents between the two parties have been disclosed, revealing much information. U.S. Congress has also accused Sony of interfering with Xbox sales by engaging in anti-competitive behavior and preventing games from Xbox in Japan.
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