The Activision Blizzard drama has opened up once again today following newly published responses to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority from both Microsoft and Sony, although they're actually dated February 22nd, 2023 - this is just the first time we're getting to see them publicly!
There's lots to get through on both sides, but Sony's focus is on pointing out why any "behavioural remedies" from Microsoft in order to pass the acquisition wouldn't be suitable because of the "lever they would give Microsoft over PlayStation", as well as the difficulty in the CMA monitoring and policing any potential behavioural commitments.
Here's what the conclusion states:
"To address the competitive harm caused to consoles and cloud gaming, the Transaction should be prohibited or subject to a structural remedy. SIE is extremely sceptical that an agreement with Microsoft could be reached, much less monitored and enforced effectively."
"As a result, a behavioural commitment that was designed to form the basis of an agreement between Microsoft and SIE should not be accepted by the CMA because there is no realistic prospect of such an agreement being reached that would maintain effective competition. More generally, behavioural remedies are unsuited to this case because of the lever they would give Microsoft over PlayStation and the difficulty the CMA would encounter in specifying, monitoring, policing, and enforcing any behavioural commitment."
The rest of Sony's responses go into detail about why this is the company's viewpoint, with over 10 pages' worth of explanations. You can see a brief snapshot of the document below - or read it for yourself on the UK CMA website.
It's worth remembering that it's been a few weeks since these responses were first documented, so things could have changed since then, but Sony's wording here seems pretty definitive that an agreement will never be reached with Microsoft... ultimately though, it's up to the CMA and other regulators to decide what steps to take next.