Microsoft, Activision merger: U.S. court hearing on biggest tech deal ever Business News

Microsoft’s record-setting takeover bid for video game giant Activision Blizzard has been filed in U.S. federal court.

windows and xbox The maker hopes to pay $69bn (£54.2bn) for the company best known for its Call of Duty, Warcraft and Diablo franchises. It would be the largest tech acquisition ever.

But the UK racing regulator Blocked in April Fears that this will hurt competition in cloud gaming, as well as U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it would give MicrosoftThe platform has an unfair advantage over rival PlayStation because they will get exclusive access to Activision Blizzard’s popular games.

Microsoft now has a five-day legal hearing to present its arguments to the FTC – and the case has brought everything indiana jones Make a sci-fi role-playing game the focus of the courtroom.

Here are key moments from day one – and what to expect later.

Call of Duty ‘could have skipped Xbox’

Long-running military shooter Call of Duty would be one of Microsoft’s biggest prizes if the acquisition goes through.The latest entry in the series Made $1 Billion in Just 10 Days.

But Microsoft’s Sarah Bond said at Thursday’s hearing that the latest Xbox game risks missing out on the series, as Activision Blizzard wants a new deal that will allow it to get more from the Xbox version of the game. large income share.

“Obviously, Call of Duty is coming to PS5. If it’s not coming to Xbox, it’s not good,” she said.

Microsoft has vowed that, under its ownership, Call of Duty will continue to run on the series’ top-selling PlayStation, but Sony claims its platform will ultimately fail.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II launches this month
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is the latest entry in the hit series

Microsoft thinks new consoles are five years away

game player If Microsoft’s predictions are correct, the next generation of consoles faces a long wait.

In court documents, the company said it doesn’t expect to launch a next-generation Xbox or PS6 until 2028. This happened because Microsoft said it had offered Sony a 10-year deal for Call of Duty, meaning the game would appear on its next-gen consoles.

The 2028 release means eight years after the release of the current system, the PS5, and the Xbox Series X and S, both of which were released during the pandemic in late 2020.

Supply chain issues meant they were hard to find until recently, but demand remains strong.

Microsoft's Xbox Series X (black) and Series S (white) game consoles are displayed at SK Telecom's flagship store in Seoul on November 10, 2020.  (Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP) (Photo: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)
Xbox Series X and S launching in November 2020

Indiana Jones and Exclusive Deals

never mind his new movieIndiana Jones is making headlines right now thanks to a video game deal.

Developer MachineGames has been working on Indy games for years.The team is part of Bethesda Softworks, a company Acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion in 2020.

Speaking on Thursday, Bethesda’s Pete Hines revealed that the game is an Xbox and PC exclusive, despite a tentative deal with franchise owner Disney (before Microsoft bought it) to release the game elsewhere.

But Hines also talked up the benefits of being able to focus on fewer consoles, saying that Bethesda’s upcoming sci-fi epic “Starfield” is one of the most anticipated titles in 2023, and if a PS5 version is also made, It won’t be released until September at the earliest.

Starfield will be released on Xbox and PC in September 2020. Image: Microsoft/Bethesda
Starfield will be released on Xbox and PC in September 2020. Image: Microsoft/Bethesda

Next up the PlayStation and Xbox bigwigs

On Friday, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan and his Xbox counterpart, Phil Spencer, will go head-to-head (no, not in a Zuckerberg vs. Musk).

Spencer will testify live at the hearing, while Ryan will appear in a pre-recorded video.

That means he won’t face potentially embarrassing questions over an email revealed at Thursday’s hearing in which he said he was “very sure” Call of Duty would stay on PlayStation, which appeared to be inconsistent with his public comments. The positions are contradictory.

Activision Blizzard and Microsoft CEOs Bobby Kotick and Satya Nadella, among others, will still be in attendance between now and the final day of the trial next week.

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