Microsoft has subpoenaed PlayStation for its defense against FTC lawsuit

Microsoft has served Sony Interactive Entertainment with a subpoena as it looks to build its defense against a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit.

According to a court filing, the Xbox maker wants Sony to disclose details of PlayStation’s game production pipeline.

The information, which Microsoft believes is relevant to its case, may include confidential details that Sony would be reluctant to share with its rival if possible.

“Negotiations between SIE and Microsoft as to the scope of SIE’s production and a discovery schedule are ongoing,” the filing reads.

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Following a week-long extension, Sony has until January 27 to move to limit, quash or otherwise respond to the subpoena.

In December, the FTC announced plans to sue Microsoft in a bid to stop its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which the regulator argues would enable the company to “suppress competitors” to its Xbox console, subscription content and cloud gaming business.

Among other concerns, the FTC and Sony have expressed worries that the deal could significantly reduce PlayStation’s ability to compete, given that it would see Microsoft gain ownership of the Call of Duty series, which Sony has called “irreplaceable”.

In their responses to the FTC’s complaint, Microsoft and Activision argued that their merger would be procompetitive and benefit consumers by making the Call of Duty publisher’s games more broadly available.

In a bid to address regulatory concerns, Microsoft recently said it had offered Sony a 10-year, legally enforceable contract to make each new Call of Duty game available on PlayStation the same day it comes to Xbox.

The FTC said earlier this month that there had been no “substantive” settlement talks with Microsoft over the proposed acquisition. If it goes to trial, the case will be judged during hearings set to take place in August 2023.