Sony is the biggest and the most vocal company protesting against Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion Activision acquisition deal. The Xbox parent company, nonetheless, seems to be taking things to the next level to appease its rival. According to a new Dealreporter report (via Seeking Alpha), Sony and Microsoft held meetings over the weekend and discussed matters related to PlayStation’s licensing deals for Activision games.
Months ago, PlayStation Chief Jim Ryan expressed his exasperation over the three-year deal of Microsoft for Call of Duty on PlayStation. Ryan described the proposal as “inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers.” And as the investigations of regulators continue, Sony persistently raises the issue and has even managed to catch the attention of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which cited the concern in its initial probe of the merger.
On November 11, Microsoft reached out to Sony to make a better offer through a longer 10-year licensing deal. Sony, however, didn’t comment on the proposal. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, on the other hand, told The Verge that it is absurd to literally promise Sony an endless deal.
“This idea that we would write a contract that says the word forever in it I think is a little bit silly, but to make a longer term commitment that Sony would be comfortable with, regulators would be comfortable with, I have no issue with that at all,” Spencer said.
Sony likely wants assurance regarding the deal, and to address it, the reported meetings were held. According to Dealreporter, the sessions specifically targeted the terms that would assure Activision’s games would be playable on the PlayStation console. The same assurance reflects the same concessions Microsoft is reportedly planning to present to the European Union, which decided to move to a deeper probe due to “foreclosure strategies” concerns.
Additionally, after a Politico report revealing FTC’s possible lawsuit to block the merger, Dealreporter now says the agency is expected to have its decision about the deal in January. It also adds that a staff recommendation by FTC could arrive in the middle of December. Meanwhile, according to Seeking Alpha, a recent FTC calendar item indicates a close-door Commission meeting this Thursday at the agency. Speculations say the meeting will be about the deal between Microsoft and Activision, but we will update this story once everything is confirmed.