FTC judge orders Sony to mostly comply with Microsoft subpoena

FTC's administrative law judge has ordered Sony Interactive Entertainment to mostly comply with Microsoft's subpoena for sensitive business documents.

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XiNatsuDragnel99d ago

Good question Sony has been pretty honest as we know but hey if Microsoft can claim something now they can.

darthv7299d ago

...a lot. some would argue they have leveraged their other business in order to get special treatment (exclusivity). I remember that being a sticking point during the HDDVD/Bluray wars. I'm certain MS has done the same.

S2Killinit99d ago (Edited 99d ago )

Nothing. Except if questions about their business procedures were allowed by the judge, that may disclose how Sony run their gaming division so effectively. MS could learn a lot from Sony if those types of questions were allowed in.

But this is how subpoena’s work. You HAVE to provide your responses to other side’s questions. The only time you don't is when they are abusing the process (as MS was doing in their prior attempt).

The3faces99d ago

What does Sony have to hide? lol
Maybe how they money hat games to keep them off other platforms.,or how they get exclusive content only on playstation. And possibly how they cut deals to keep games out of gamepass just for starters.

fr0sty99d ago

"Maybe how they money hat games to keep them off other platforms"
"Hi, pot, I'm kettle!"

Christopher99d ago

I like how all the responses on what do they have to hide are things we already know about.

What they want to hide are the exact details of these agreements. The only way this is fair is if Sony gets Microsoft to do the exact same (such as details on how they get game pass day one deals and how much it costs them). Otherwise it's just one company having its secrets revealed and not both.

Obscure_Observer99d ago (Edited 99d ago )

"What does Sony have to hide?"

Apparently, a lot.

Now we might find out if Sony really has been paying developers and publishers to keep games and content off Xbox consoles.

bleedsoe9mm99d ago (Edited 99d ago )

We had no idea Sony was charging a cross play tax until it came out in court. I wonder if Sony has forced parity clauses the make devs spend extra time on Sony version and neglecting PC and Xbox.

1Victor99d ago

@ lelo What does Sony have to hide?

Read the article Microsoft was asking asking documentation from PlayStation creator that might contain trade secrets and it got denied 🤦🏿 ,Microsoft was asking for employees performance evaluation and information about deals with 3rd party along all paperwork from the first PlayStation in the 90’s to present 😱.
Just the translation and copy of all that paperwork would cost Sony in the upward of 10 millions compared to the over 2 millions from 2019 to present.
Regardless of Microsoft winning or not now they have access to Sony pass business strategies they can attempt to copy to be “successful” 🤦🏿

onisama99d ago

paying millions not to add games to ps plus but to block games from coming to GP openly accused Sony and sony never commented or go to court mostly this (which is anasty dirty practice) and also they get to know how much sony pays for 3rd party exclusivity and maybe other stuff they can use

anubusgold99d ago (Edited 99d ago )

@S2Killinit No microsoft wants evidence of sonys shady business practices like making developers not make games look better on xbox because it has more power, making them sign agreements not to appear on gamepass, and all the exclusive content deals to keep content and games off xbox then shove that in the regulators faces that are protecting sony.

gangsta_red98d ago

"No microsoft wants evidence of sonys shady business practices like making developers not make games look better on xbox because it has more power"

I personally do not believe this is a practice by any developer. I remember hearing this statement back in the PS3 days, that MS was paying devs to make PS3 versions of their games buggy or not run as well despite PS3 being a more powerful system. If this was something happening in real life this sort of thing would have been exposed.

But for the rest of your points, I agree. MS is trying to show regulators how Sony with all their complaints about this deal how it would hurt them and games and despite being the market leader, is actively keeping multiple games off the Xbox console and Game Pass allegedly.

anubusgold98d ago

@gangsta_red Developers have come forward saying sony has that in their contract xbox games cant look better.

TheCaptainKuchiki98d ago

It's not about hiding something. I'm sure every company in the world would be against giving secret documents to their main competitor.

Christopher98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

What I love best about this whole conversation is the people who say "buying out publishers to withhold games from a platform is just business" don't think the same when it's "Sony stops games from going to an optional subscription service but not a platform."

Why can't we just admit these two are competing at the same level and we shouldn't be trying to cheerlead for one to gain more info over the other? Honestly, some people seem to want one of these companies to just disappear when we get what we get because they continue to compete against one another.

JackBNimble98d ago

Neither company are in this for the best interest of gamers. They are in this for themselves and the shareholders and to think otherwise is naive at best.

Godmars29098d ago

"I remember that being a sticking point during the HDDVD/Bluray wars. I'm certain MS has done the same."

Like funding the HD-DVD side of thing to prevent BR from becoming the new standard of the time, thus allowing streaming to start sooner?

Fat lot of good that did them with TV-TV-TV...

Rude-ro98d ago

You obviously do not own a business nor have a clue how to protect one if you had it if you think it is about “hiding” something.
There is a very long list of shady practices from Microsoft when it comes to competitors…
So I would say what does a business have to protect vs what one has to hide.

OptimusDK98d ago

@1Victor - SONY are trying to block a 69 billion USD deal by arguing that the biggest player will be hurt extremely even though they have been offered a 10 year deal to keep COD which in itself is unpresedented in the gaming industry. NOW they have to show how this would hurt their business.

We all know that SONY has become big by money hatting games and ending up taking over these developers - it happend from 1990 and forward. Now they are so big that they can leverage their marketshare which they do to push games off other platforms, buy first access, demand parity etc,

They lay as they have made their bed...

zekk94d ago (Edited 94d ago )

@anubus. Without a clause like that in a contract outside parties (ms, Nintendo etc) can pay developers can purposefully downgrade the PlayStation version with no repercussions. While yes it could be seen as underhanded from your point of view from Sony's it would be to ensure the quality of what is put out on their product.

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Lifexline99d ago (Edited 99d ago )

Scummy? it’s a legal battle and it’s allowed. This is a good thing for Xbox it can show how Sony pays for third party exclusivity, content and how it pay developers to keep games off game pass that’s anti competitive.

Paying developers to keep games off competing platforms is anti competitive and it should really be looked into whether it’s Sony or Microsoft doing it. They should get fined if the giver enemy really wants to make things good for consumers that’s what they should be looking into. That’s scummy right there.


And none of this information would've been brought to light if Sony simply kept their mouths shut and allowed this acquisition to go through.

Sony played with fire and now they're getting burnt. I love it!

darkrider99d ago

Dude, microsoft did the same. It's business.

Aloymetal99d ago (Edited 99d ago )

''Sony played with fire and now they're getting burnt. I love it!''
You can keep loving it all you want but nothing will change or do you really believe that if this deal goes thru MS will suddenly become the market leader and the platform with most hardware and software sales.
MS needs way, way, way more than activision/Bethesda for that dream of yours to become a reality. Keep hoping and loving it tho;)

Lifexline98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

@darkrider do you know how to read?

I stated both Sony and Microsoft paying to keep games off each others platform or any other, get exclusive content, or keep games off game pass or such should be deemed anti competitive and be fined. It’s not just business it’s anti competitive. By your same logic no one should have a problem with the activision purchase but there is a problem. All I’m saying is the e same scrutiny should be applied to actual issues that are actually anti competitive. Those practices harm consumers big time.

If the government really wants to protect consumers this should be priority number one. Hopefully the subpoena opens up scrutiny to this issue. Sony can’t cry that without call of duty they can’t fund their first party games yet still have money to pay for exclusivity or to make sure games stay off competing platforms. That practice needs to be scrutinized by the government no matter who does it.

shinoff218398d ago

Ms pays for 3rd party exclusives to lifexline. Why do you guys just say Sony does and act like their the only one. Ms is just as guilty if you wanna say that. They paid to keep tales of vespiria of ps3 in the west. That's why it released on ps3 in Japan and nowhere else except 360. Sounds kinda along the same lines your crying about if Sony really even pays to keep games off gamepass. If so why would you want your competition giving a game a game away for free your trying to sell. Makes sense. Buy some games cheapskates

porkChop98d ago


He literally said both. Paying a dev just to keep a game you don't own off another platform or service is absolutely anti competitive. That goes for both Sony and Microsoft. It's one thing to do it with indie games where the devs need funding, tools, resources, etc. But to do it with AAA games is scummy.

Lifexline98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

@shinoff do you little kids not know how to read??? I name both Sony and Microsoft as doing those practices being anti competitive and shouldn’t be allowed.

Also I can tell youre a little kid because any adult knows that it’s always good to get a good value and knows the value of money. If I can save by subscribing to game pass why not more money in my pocket. Everyone who is smart and an adult tries to save money. Do you really think billionaires who try to evade taxes do it just for fun. No they want more money in their pocket. Any adult wants that which is why I call you a kid you think like one. Cheapskate no it’s called being an adult and knowing the value of money and not worrying about billion dollar companies having more money as oppose to yourself.

FlintGREY98d ago

Are you seriously acting like MS with over $1trillon in the bank couldn't easily outbid Sony on EVERYTHING they supposedly paid for? 🤔

zekk94d ago

We'll I mean if this is being allowed it should go both ways if I'm not mistaken. So that'll mean ms would also have to share every contract from the being onward as well. That would mean we may find out if the rumored contracts with Bethesda to downgrade their games on ps are real for example

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silkylove99d ago

Sony claimed the acquisition would do great harm to them. All the judge did was tell them that they have to provide documentation to back up that claim. How is that scummy?

S2Killinit98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

Admittedly I did not feel like reading this article. But I’ll say this, the fact that the title says Sony must “mostly” comply is basically read the opposite way by anyone who knows about subpoenas. Its actually rare that a judge tells someone to comply MOSTLY. You HAVE to comply with subpoenas fully unless there is reason to believe the requests are reaching and unreasonable. Which the judge ruled recently was the case with MS’s demands.

People on these threads are reading “mostly” as a good thing for MS. Its the opposite.

SeTTriP99d ago

The FTC is doing its do diligence as a governing body.if sony doesn't want sensitive info getting out they should pull theyre complaints.

Sony has so much in the pipeline that I wish they just let it happen, the quality of COD will go down and the mtx and gamepass price will go up and all the Xbox fans who thought this was a good deal will see for themselves and I'll be right their saying I told you so and so many others.

porkChop99d ago

It's not scummy. Sony is the main opposition to the acquisition and they've made a lot of claims regarding the deal. You can't just make claims in court. You have to provide documents and such to prove what you're saying. If Sony has been honest then they'll have nothing to hide.

frostypants98d ago (Edited 98d ago )

Wrong. The main opponent to the acquisition is the FTC. Sony is just their biggest competitor at the moment and thus a key player for both sides of the trial (the US government and MS). This trial is about the entire industry. Making it about MS vs. Sony is the worst kind of fanboy stupidity.

porkChop98d ago

The FTC isn't an "opponent". It's a governing body that is literally there to investigate and ensure any acquisition doesn't harm consumer choice or competition. They govern solely for one country in the world so no they are not the "main opponent".

Sony is formally opposing the deal and is the main voice against it. They have been from the start. They've formally opposed the deal in every major region and have made many claims about the damage the deal would cause. They are indeed the main opposition. That's not fanboy talk it's literally just a fact. That's exactly why the whole thing focuses on how important COD is to Sony.

"Sony is just their biggest competitor at the moment and thus a key player for both sides of the trial (the US government and MS)"

They're not on trial. They're currently figuring out if it still needs to go to trial in August or if the FTC will let the deal go through instead with concessions. The whole point of Sony handing over documents and proving their claims is so the FTC and MS can understand what actual effect the deal would really have on Sony's business.

"This trial is about the entire industry. Making it about MS vs. Sony is the worst kind of fanboy stupidity."

Sony is literally the only one in the industry at this point that is opposed to the deal. The main point of contention is about how this acquisition would affect Sony's business, not anyone else's. It's not fanboy talk, it's literally what is going on. If you don't understand what's actually happening then why are you even commenting?

neutralgamer199298d ago

Just approve this or deny and move on. This deal either way will have big domino affects. Those celebrating this deal today don't seem to understand the ramifications long term

Before this generation is over Ubisoft, square enix, Capcom and Sega won't be 3rd party. They will be bought out and in case of square and Capcom both will be acquired soon after Activision deal is through. Square already doesn't release many games elsewhere but Capcom under Sony means Xbox gamers won't get any of their games. So once again try to understand that we as gamers will have less options not more. The only reason acquisitions talk has cooled down is because everyone is waiting on Activision acquisition outcome. Don't be surprised if within days of Activision deal doing through we get multiple announcements of other major acquisitions

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shadowT99d ago (Edited 99d ago )

"Sony must also provide information about its exclusivity agreements that were made with third-party publishers." So Xbox will get in the end Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax / Bethesda and all Playstaton business secrets. Sounds like a good deal for Xbox.

sparky7799d ago

Yep added bonus for all of Sony's bitching.

Hopefully those documents become public it will be like an early E3.

__SteakDeck__99d ago

You”re an idiot, fighting an imaginary console war.

99d ago Replies(1)
dumahim98d ago

And apparently, Sony has to do the translating of the documents. It isn't enough to just find and turn them over.

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blackblades99d ago

It'll cost Sony 2mil just to gather all the stuff. Also Nintendo, valve, Google and take two got subpoenaed. Should mention that in the title but anyway MS gonna know everybody business.

hadowajp98d ago

I assume (pure speculation) that with the ten year agreements between MS and valve/Nintendo the request for discovery was/will be withdrawn.

Mcardle99d ago

Importantly only if this goes to court. If the FTC decide to drop the case then I don't think Sony has to provide the documents.

darthv7299d ago (Edited 99d ago )

FTC wont just drop the issue unless Sony withdraws their complaint. That is what got them into this mess in the first place. The FTC would still have investigated the deal regardless because it is standard practice when you have mergers and acquisitions. Yet when you have a formal complaint to the matter... it then becomes more involved.

Sony has been so vocal about how this would hurt them, that it is taken as a formal complaint. If they want to keep their secrets, they'd need to withdraw.

Wikkid66699d ago (Edited 99d ago )

Not necessarily... FTC basically said let's see what the EU does. If MS makes concessions to appease the EU then that most likely will be good enough for them as well.

The CMA will be the biggest hurdle with this.

darkrider99d ago

Won't hurt them.... They will just show all the documents about activision... This show that the deal is far from being approved. That's the reality. Otherwise they wouldn't ask this. The genius here didn't understand that... They see Sony much show documents....

This deal is making too much waves... That's why the words of car salesmen about Xbox being alive even without this deal..