This agreement as much intended to appease Sony as regulators around the world was formulated on November 11 and seems more generous than the vague commitments mentioned so far. Sony has not commented on this new proposal, notes the New York Times.
It should be remembered that of the 16 governments studying the stakes of such an acquisition, only Saudi Arabia and Brazil have so far given the green light (Serbia is about to join them, according to Microsoft) while that entities such as the European Commission and the Competition and Markets Authority of the United Kingdom have launched an in-depth phase II review which could last until March 2023. In the United States, the antitrust commission (FTC) is studying the file carefully and has not yet pronounced publicly, but its Lina Khan has been tough on tech giants in the past, including Amazon.
It is important to note that the fact that the agreement proposed by Microsoft is limited in time responds to a certain logic. As the remember lawyer Richard Hoeg, an agreement of this type can never be signed for an unlimited period. Sony knows this and must therefore deal with the risk of seeing Microsoft refuse to extend this agreement after 10 years. But for the time being, the manufacturer remains in its role of main opponent and continues to hope that the regulators prevent the acquisition from taking place.
A long-term commitment to appease
“The idea that we could write a contract with the word ‘forever’ in it is a little ridiculous, but I have no problem making a longer-term commitment that suits Sony and the regulators“, had commented Phil Spencer a few days ago at the microphone of the site The Verge.
According to the New York Times, Microsoft accuses Sony of wanting to mislead the competition authority by overestimating the importance of Call of Duty for the viability of its Japanese rival. And while it may be an exaggeration to think that the loss of Call of Duty would bring about the immediate downfall of the PlayStation empire, the record performance of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which generated a turnover of one billion dollars in 10 days, came as a reminder of how irreplaceable Call of Duty remains on the market. More recently, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 came to show its big numbers by reporting 25 million players within five days.
Contacted by The New York Times, Jim Ryan offered an answer by denying the idea that his company would seek to deceive regulators. The CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment describes Microsoft as “tech giant that has a long history of dominating industries“and esteem”very likely that the choices players have today will disappear if this deal goes through.“
For its part, the tendency at Phil Spencer is to explain everywhere that the main issue of this acquisition project does not revolve around the future of Call of Duty. Microsoft’s primary objective in spending $69 billion is primarily to become a mobile giant as quickly as possible. Besides the fortune-telling Candy Crush and the many Blizzard projects that began with the release of Diablo Immortal, Activision Blizzard’s expansion plans on iOS and Android also include some Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile. To believe that all roads lead to Kalof.
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