‘I want to block the takeover’: PlayStation president’s comments are shocking!

Game news ‘I want to block the takeover’: PlayStation president’s comments are shocking!

Published on 09.03.2023 at 12:19

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Thanks to documents released by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom, the general public has received new information about the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. The Redmond firm would offer Sony a more than interesting deal that the Japanese firm turned down. Interactive Entertainment subsidiary president Jim Ryan explained why.

Sony continues to refuse offers from Microsoft

The end of April is approaching, coinciding with the deadline for regulators such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC, US) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA, UK) to issue their verdict on the Activision acquisition. Blizzard King (ABK) by Microsoft. A soap opera that has intensified since the start of the 2022 school year with a series of hearings in which several big players in the industry want to protect their chunk of fat. These sessions also allow access to numerous documents originally classified as confidential and learn more about the behind the scenes of the biggest acquisition in video game history.

Just yesterday it was the CMA, which updated his paper summarizing the progress of the investigation about the merger with ABC. A file rich in information that teaches the general public that Sony turned down “one of the best deals it could get” from Microsoft. Lulu Cheng Meservay, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and General Manager of Communications for Activision Blizzard, tweeted:

Microsoft offered Sony (which dominated the console market for over a decade with 80% market share) a 10-year contract at a much better price than Sony could get from us. We also offered Sony guaranteed long-term access to Call of Duty. But they continue to refuse.

“I just want to block your merge”

But then why does Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) keep pulling back on this acquisition? According to the Japanese company, Microsoft has shown no real will towards negotiations and believes that, despite their offer, this in no way jeopardizes the eventual dominance in the video game sector that this acquisition could bring them. Statements we can learn, again thanks to the CMA document:

As the CMA is aware, SIE raised concerns about the Microsoft deal nearly a year ago. During this period, Microsoft showed no real desire to reach an agreement. She procrastinated, intervening only when she felt the prospects for regulation were deteriorating, and preferred media talks over dialogue with the SIE. (…) This offer does not adequately protect PlayStation’s access to Call of Duty or competition. Rather, it shows Microsoft’s lack of commitment to providing full and equal access to Call of Duty, confirms the risks of the behavioral decision outlined in the guidelines, and reinforces SIE’s confidence that Microsoft intends to strategically use Call of Duty to dominate the gaming industry.

However, Lulu Cheng Meservay adds fuel to the fire with comments that Jim Ryan would have made. The president had already presented his case to the CMA last October and attended the hearing in February. He would say that he does not want new agreements regarding the Call of Duty license, but simply would like this acquisition to be blocked. The comments he would have made on Feb. 21, as reported so far by Activision Blizzard’s general manager of public relations:

(…) According to him, “I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal”: “I don’t want a new Call of Duty deal. I just want to block your merge.”

Powerful words that are sure to make the network react. Sony supporters join Jim Ryan in believing that this acquisition should never take place, while others do not understand the Japanese firm’s policy towards this deal. A third party is stunned enough to question the veracity of the SIE President’s words, even if one has to agree that it is difficult to question Lulu Cheng Meservay’s report as it would be a big risk. But by the end of this soap opera, anything can (still) happen.

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