Microsoft Granted Access To Certain Sony Docs As FTC Continues To Scrutinise ActiBlizz Deal

Many of you have probably been following Xbox's ongoing Activision Blizzard negotiations, with Microsoft still trying to secure regulatory approval for its mammoth deal. As was perhaps expected, Sony has become one of Microsoft's biggest obstacles for the deal going ahead, and it looks like the PlayStation owner will soon have to start showing more evidence to back up some of its arguments.

Late last month, Microsoft issued a subpoena to Sony - an order for the Japanese company to provide documents relating to the deal for an FTC court hearing. That FTC court hearing goes ahead this August (although a similar EU showdown just happened), but thanks to a new judge order we know a bit more about what Sony will have to explain ahead of a final decision.

Of six distinct requests Sony made to limit information provided to Microsoft and the FTC, four have been denied and two have been granted. So, basically, Sony will need to fully explain four requests it wanted to restrict information on, but two requests won't have to be fully detailed by the PlayStation owner. Got that? We think we do... just about, anyway.

Some of these six requests aren't particularly relevant to us as onlookers and relate more to the hearing itself, but a few of them are pretty interesting. Sony has managed to wriggle its way out of providing "“performance reviews or evaluations" for its CEO Jim Ryan, while the PlayStation owner has also managed to limit Microsoft's access to information on existing third-party deals - like those with Activision over the Call of Duty franchise.

However, Microsoft is still going to get some of the information it desired. Xbox wanted to see — and showcase to regulators — how Sony had been handling relationships with third-party developers and publishers since 2012. PlayStation has managed to limit that to just three years, with the investigation now only gaining access to information about Sony's third-party deals from 2019 onwards.

Much of Microsoft's other gains relate to the court dealings themselves, and yeah, they aren't particularly interesting truth be told. Feel free to look over the full judge order anyway, especially if you're suffering from insomnia as of late...

As far as we know and can figure out, this US FTC court hearing is still scheduled for August 2nd, where Microsoft and Sony will go head-to-head to try and figure out the whole Activision Blizzard deal. For now, we simply have more information on what can and will be discussed there by the Xbox and PlayStation owners.

Are you keeping up with all of this ActiBlizz shenanigans? Let us know your thoughts on these findings down below!