Nintendo and Google get roped into Microsoft's FTC defense

Drop-in, drop-out legal defense.

The list of subpoenas in Microsoft's fight against the FTC keeps growing. Both Nintendo of America (NoA) and Google have been called upon as the US organization continues to push back against Microsoft's bid for Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft and Activision separately subpoenaed the two companies, according to documents filed on February 6 and February 8. Like Sony did back in January, Google and NoA requested extensions to the deadline to limit or kill their respective subpoenas by February 16 (NoA) and 17 (Google). 

It's not known what information Microsoft and Activision want specifically from either company. But like with Sony, the two game publishers may just be looking for anything that would discredit the FTC's attempts to stop their merger, which they've previously said they wanted to complete by June 2023

Towards the end of 2022, Microsoft said it would commit to releasing the Call of Duty franchise on Nintendo consoles over the next decade. The move was made in an effort to appease regulators, and while the series has been on Nintendo systems before, the series has generally thrived on PC and other consoles. 

As for Google, it and NVIDIA expressed concerns to the FTC about the Microsoft-Activision merger back in January. Neither company expressly disapproved the merger, but they did note that Microsoft stood to have an unfair advantage in several markets, including cloud gaming. 

Concern about Microsoft having a monopoly in games has been the primary talking point with this merger. The UK's regulatory CMA board voiced these thoughts again earlier this week, saying the Xbox maker may end up having too much control in the UK market. 

That said, the CMA also offered a list of potential remedies for Microsoft and Activision Blizzard that would permit the deal to go forward. The biggest and most important solution would be to sell off key businesses and franchises.

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