The FTC is requesting details on Microsoft’s recent deals with Nintendo and Nvidia

by Danny Craig  · 
The FTC is requesting details on Microsoft’s recent deals with Nintendo and Nvidia
Activision Blizzard

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made public a new court filing demanding that Microsoft provide previously requested documents regarding its recent 10-year agreements with Nintendo and Nvidia, as well as ZeniMax's exclusivity plans.

The details:

  • According to the March 14 filing, the FTC claims that it requested several documents relating to Microsoft's deals and plans but did not receive them all, with the company instead choosing to only disclose specific information. The FTC has requested documents about Microsoft's "next generation gaming ecosystem" and plans for exclusivity at its subsidiary ZeniMax Media. The public is currently unaware of what the apparent ecosystem refers to, but it could refer to future cloud gaming plans or other unreleased Xbox services.
  • The FTC is demanding documentation from Microsoft regarding its recent decade-long deals with Nintendo and Nvidia because it believes the deals in question cannot be used to help acquire Activision Blizzard unless the private, internal documents are made available to the FTC. Because the filing came after Microsoft's official announcements, the FTC is likely to want the same level of transparency when it comes to the tech giant's two most recent agreements with cloud gaming providers Ubitus and Boosteroid.
  • The regulator filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft in December, claiming that it has a history of using "valuable gaming content to suppress competition," beginning with the exclusivity of Bethesda titles despite claims that it would allow releases on PlayStation, and that if its acquisition of Activision Blizzard were to succeed, it would "enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gap services." At this point, it appears that Sony stands by the claim and is focused on preventing the deal from going through, while Nintendo, the third of the big three, is looking to reap the benefits of having Call of Duty and other franchises on its platforms in the future. Microsoft has offered to allow Call of Duty on PlayStation Plus, but Sony is strongly opposed to the idea, claiming that it would raise prices and destroy the company's current model.

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