Skip to main content

Sony says Microsoft's demands in FTC case about Activision acquisition are "obvious harassment"

Microsoft had requested to see files about Sony's leadership

Sony has characterised Microsoft's demands related to the US regulator's investigation into the proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition as "obvious harassment."

As reported by Axios, Microsoft had asked to see documents about seven Sony executives as part of the case and in the context of a subpoena it filed mid-January.

"Microsoft made the reasonable request that SIE begin collecting documents from agreed-upon custodians at various points during the negotiations, including in writing on January 26 and January 31," Microsoft said in a document filed earlier this week.

"SIE rejected these requests. To Microsoft counsel’s knowledge, SIE has not completed collections for a single custodian – not even for individuals like SIE president & CEO Jim Ryan, who has travelled the world speaking out against the Microsoft/Activision deal and whose role as a custodian has never been in dispute."

Sony replied the next day, saying that given the "high volume of documents" relating to the seven individuals, "collecting, processing, reviewing, and producing" them is "burdensome."

"Microsoft’s demand for performance reviews for SIE’s leadership is obvious harassment," it added. "Even in employment cases courts require a specific showing of relevance before requiring production of personnel files."

The FTC filed a lawsuit to block Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard King in December.

The deal is also under scrutiny in the UK, with the Competitions and Markets Authority provisionally finding this week that the acquisition could reduce competition in console and cloud gaming.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick commented on the situation on Wednesday, saying that "the FTC, CMA and EU don't know our industry" and that the UK will be more like "Death Valley" than Silicon Valley if it rejects the $69 billion deal.

If you've started to lose track of the ramifications of Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard King, read our guide about everything you need to know about what’s going on, and where the key issues lie.

Read this next

Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
Related topics