Video Games

FTC Trial: Nearly 1 Million Documents Couldn’t Catch Xbox Saying it Would Make Call of Duty Exclusive

At the heart of multiple ongoing legal challenges to Xbox’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, one central theme keeps coming up again and again. Does that mean Xbox will have a monopoly on Call of Duty if the deal goes through? That stance is consistent with Microsoft’s most confidential internal documents, he said.

Today, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corey ruled that the Federal Trade Commission’s move to seek an interim injunction against the merger will be stayed until it goes to hearings in August from completing as scheduled next week. was dropped. And in her ruling, she revealed that Xbox has been surprisingly consistent with its plans for Call of Duty, even internally.

“[T]”There are no internal documents, emails or chats here that contradict Microsoft’s stated intent not to make Call of Duty exclusive to the Xbox console,” the court said. After one million documents and 30 depositions, the FTC has not identified a single document that contradicts Microsoft’s promise to make Call of Duty available on PlayStation (and Nintendo Switch). “

Xbox representatives have made this point publicly, with Xbox boss Phil Spencer last month testifying under oath that he would never remove Call of Duty from PlayStation. . However, in many cases, companies say one thing publicly and say another privately, which is why the nearly one million internal documents (electronic It’s surprising that it was never submitted in any way (including emails and internal chats). Xbox executives say what could be construed as plans to exclusively feature Call of Duty. This is probably why Jim Ryan, head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, was confident in his own internal communications that he would continue to see Call of Duty on PlayStation for years to come. seems to explain.

Judge Corey has dismissed the FTC’s injunction, paving the way for the Xbox and Activision deal to close next week. Hearings are scheduled to continue in August, but the FTC will likely have to scrap the already-merged companies if it decides the deal is anti-competitive. It faces an even tougher battle over the merger. In the UK, meanwhile, the Competition and Markets Authority appears poised to reach an agreement with Microsoft to settle its own concerns about cloud gaming.

Both sides appeared in court last month, and the trial, which lasted four days, revealed a few things. From court documents revealing a shortlist of game developers that Xbox was interested in acquiring to fill content gaps, PlayStation president Jim Ryan confirmed that Starfield is an Xbox console exclusive. Admitting it doesn’t feel “anti-competitive”, and that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said “No Love” is exclusive to consoles.

Want to learn more about what’s turned on during your 4-day trial? See the full hearing recap. If you want a breakdown of each individual day, check out our analysis article breaking down each day of the exam.

Rebekah Valentine is IGN’s Senior Reporter. you can find her on her twitter @duck valentine.

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