Microsoft’s proposed 10-year Call of Duty licensing deal with Sony reportedly also allowed Sony to put the franchise on PlayStation Plus.
That’s what Bloomberg correspondents Leah Neilen and Dina Bass write now in a new report based on a source familiar with the matter. We’ve included part of the Bloomberg article below (the full article behind the paywall).
In an effort to win regulatory approval for its purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc. At a value of $69 billion, Microsoft Corp. over rival Sony Group Corp. The right to Activision’s massive sale of Call of Duty as part of its game subscription service.
Microsoft has publicly stated that it has offered Sony a 10-year deal to make Call of Duty available on the Japanese company’s PlayStation console. The proposal, which Sony has not accepted, also includes rights to sell the title on the PlayStation Plus service, which gives players access to the game catalog for a monthly fee, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who declined to be identified. Because the conversations are confidential.
Last month, sources reported that Microsoft was willing to make concessions to EU regulators in order to shorten the regulatory process and complete the massive Activision-Blizzard deal. Those concessions have not been made to the FTC, according to a report from Bloomberg earlier this month, and Microsoft is said to be willing to go to court if the commission tries to block the deal.
“In the event that the FTC tries to block the case, Microsoft is preparing to challenge that decision in court,” said the person, who asked not to be identified, speaking about the internal strategy. Bloomberg Books. Jennifer Ray, an antitrust analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said it wouldn’t surprise her if the FTC filed a lawsuit seeking to block the deal, but noted that a court battle would be hard for its enforcers to win and Microsoft could prevail — though a legal battle could extends beyond the expiration date of the transaction. Microsoft said it expects to close the deal by June 30.
The stakes are high for both parties and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft’s massive $69 billion deal pans out. As always, we’ll keep you posted as soon as more information comes in.