(CTN News) – Earlier this week, PlayStation Microsoft said that Sony had signed a binding, 10-year agreement with Microsoft to keep Call of Duty available on PlayStation consoles after closing the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
“We would like to share with you that Microsoft has signed a binding agreement with PlayStation which will ensure that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said on Twitter.
Activision is the company that makes the best-selling lineup of Call of Duty video games. When the acquisition of Activision by Microsoft was approved, regulators around the world expressed significant concerns about Microsoft’s ability to control the video game market if the deal went through.
Among the biggest players in the gaming market is Microsoft, who manufactures the Xbox,
Which competes directly with Sony’s PlayStation.
Because of this, there have been concerns that Microsoft will be able to make exclusive titles for its consoles and evict Sony from the market.
The deal does seem to be ameliorating those concerns to some degree, but Microsoft and Sony are not disclosing how long the deal will last. It has been stated by a Microsoft spokesperson that the deal is long-term in nature. A similar deal has been signed in the past by the company.
A number of concerns about anti-competitive behavior were expressed by the CEO of Sony’s interactive entertainment division, Jim Ryan, as recently as last month.
In a videotaped statement that was recorded in June, Ryan, who owns PlayStation as part of his portfolio, said that he did not think Activision Blizzard’s proposed acquisition was beneficial for competition.
In a tweet Sunday, Microsoft vice chair Brad Smith wrote that even after a possible deal is completed, Microsoft “will remain committed to ensuring that Call of Duty is available on as many platforms and to as many consumers as possible.”
In spite of the fact that the acquisition is not certain to close, Microsoft and Activision’s prospects got a significant boost after an appeals court ruled against the Federal Trade Commission’s request to temporarily block the deal.
An anti-trust lawsuit brought by the PlayStation FTC against the deal in the San Francisco federal court in July failed to convince a judge that the deal posed a substantial anti-competitive risk, so the lawsuit was dismissed.
The deal was approved by the EU regulators in May of this year. According to a statement on Wednesday, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority, which has forced divestitures and blocked prior tech deals in the past, is ready to negotiate with Microsoft on the terms of the deal.
It is expected that the two companies will complete their transaction by the end of Tuesday, July 18th.