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Newly revealed emails shed light on Microsoft, Sony negotiations over Activision’s PlayStation future

As part of Microsoft’s court battle with US antitrust agency the Federal Trade Commission, emails between Xbox boss Phil Spencer and PlayStation head Jim Ryan have been revealed, outlining Microsoft’s initial proposal to Sony – regarding the Activision Blizzard games it would be willing to keep on the PlayStation platform should its $69bn acquisition be approved – and Ryan’s lengthy counter-proposal.

As confirmed by Phil Spencer last September, Microsoft contacted Sony shortly after the January announcement of its proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition, providing a signed agreement to Sony guaranteeing Call of Duty would remain on PlayStation – with feature and content parity – for “at least several more years beyond” Sony current contract.

During his FTC deposition this week, Ryan admitted he “wasn’t particularly” happy with Microsoft’s original proposal, but “hoped it was an opening salvo” – and we now have a more precise picture of his initial response, thanks to newly revealed emails, as spotted by The Verge’s Tom Warren. In a reply dated 26th May, Ryan informed Spencer that Microsoft’s proposal “did not fulfil” the objective of “ensuring Activision Blizzard games are available on PlayStation”, and that the company had “serious concerns” which an enclosed counter-proposal from Sony was intended to address.

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