Normally, when we talk about Microsoft and Sony in the same sentence, it’s usually related to the possible acquisition of Activision Blizzard for the not inconsiderable sum of $68.7 billion. This time it’s not directly about that (although it’s probably a new tactic to get the deal approved in the US), but about Sony’s business practices with its consoles in Japan, his country of origin, which Microsoft thinks it can violate. trade agreements between the United States and Japan.

The issue was raised by a group of members of the US Congress who are pressuring the Biden administration to act on the “imbalanced Japanese video game market, which we believe could be the result of a commercial practice discriminatory that could violate the spirit of the U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement,” reads the letter signed by the affected members of Congress (thanks, Axios).

The letter even notes that Sony has 98% of the high-end console market in Japan and that the company is signing deals to keep Japanese games away from Microsoft devices, which if true is in violation of the law. antitrust and would constitute “a serious impediment to US exports with real repercussions for Microsoft and the many US game developers and publishers who sell globally but see their revenues in Japan eroded by these practices”.

Microsoft’s use of the term “high-end console” is their way of taking Nintendo out of this conversation, because when we look at console sales in Japan as a whole, it’s usually always been a two-man race between PlayStation and the latest Nintendo. device. But coincidentally, as Microsoft and Nintendo seem to be best friends at the moment during the Activision Blizzard acquisition process, Microsoft is not implicating another Japanese titan in these antitrust and trade breach lawsuits.

Following this letter, US Senate Representative Katherine Tai promised to investigate the situation.

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