PS5: Sony will have to reveal how much it pays to keep games from integrating Xbox Game Pass

As part of the FTC’s investigation into the Activision-Blizzard takeover, the judge in charge of the investigation ruled in favor of Microsoft, which required Sony to disclose details of PS5 exclusive contracts that prevent publishers from integrating their games with Xbox Game Pass.

PS5 © Sony

After rumors of a Rockstar takeover by Sony, this is another twist on the soap opera of Activision-Blizzard’s acquisition of Microsoft. As part of its investigation, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will force Sony to reveal details of its PlayStation 5 game exclusive rights agreements and the amount it pays for a “lock fee”. .

Read: Microsoft turns to Nintendo and Nvidia for help in acquiring Activision-Blizzard

Some context: given the size of the video game giant that would form between Microsoft, Activision, Blizzard and Bethesda in the event of a takeover, the FTC quickly stepped in to prevent the takeover. Its role is to prevent monopolies and anti-competitive practices, which it did by launching an investigation last year that continues to this day.

Microsoft accuses Sony of paying for Xbox Game Pass sabotage

As part of the investigation process, Microsoft’s lawyers sent a subpoena to Sony to force it to disclose recordings, internal documents and emails from its PlayStation division. That’s okay because the FTC needs to assess the state of competition in the console sector, and with Microsoft screaming from the rooftops that the PS5 is crushing the Xbox Series X, the FTC needs to assess whether this takeover can balance the Sony/Microsoft rivalry.

According to Kotaku, the chief judge of the Federal Trade Commission upheld Microsoft’s request for details of Sony’s exclusive deals with the PlayStation. The judge reportedly made the decision after Microsoft accused Sony of paying to block games from being added to Xbox Game Pass.

This contract disclosure request applies to agreements entered into after January 1, 2019. Greedy, Microsoft would have asked Sony to disclose their agreements before 2012, but the judge refused. However, it will be very interesting to understand a little better how the video game industry works in these kinds of agreements: this information is usually kept extremely confidential.


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