Sony wants to avoid at all costs that Microsoft completes the purchase of Activision Blizzard, but, unfortunately, this backfired. It turns out that now US politicians are accusing him of paying to unfairly hurt Xbox and its chances to grow in Japan.
It all started last Thursday when Maria Cantwell, a senator from the Democratic Party, accused Sony of having a monopoly on “high-end gaming” in Japan. Cantwell was joined by 10 other members of Congress, who in two letters asked Katherine Tai, US Trade Representative, to put pressure on the Japanese authorities.
In the letters, members of congress point out that the video game market in Japan is “out of balance.” The above since PlayStation signs exclusivity agreements (as it did with Final Fantasy XVI) so that Japanese games do not reach Xbox platforms. They also believe that this could violate Japan’s competition laws.
“The effective policy of the Japanese government not to go after Sony appears to be a serious impediment to US exports with real repercussions for Microsoft and the many US game developers and publishers who sell worldwide but see their revenue in Japan depressed by these practices,” the letter states.
Politicians also point out that this situation could violate the US-Japan Digital Trade Agreement. Article 8 of this agreement states that countries must allow “non-discriminatory” treatment of digital products, which include games, but it is not clear if they also include consoles.
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Microsoft says Sony engages in “anti-competitive practices”
A Microsoft spokesperson told Axios that Sony engages in “anti-competitive practices” that must be addressed to ensure a fair competition environment.
“Sony’s anti-competitive tactics deserve discussion, and we’re pleased that they continue to investigate to ensure a level playing field in the video game industry,” said David Cuddy, a Microsoft spokesman.
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