Microsoft has confirmed that the company was willing to spend enough money on Xbox investments that it would force Sony to go out of business. In an email submitted during the ongoing FTC legal hearing against Microsoft’s Activision purchase, Matt Booty says it was the company’s main goal at one point.
Booty says that back in 2019, he was encouraging Xbox CFO Tim Stuart to spend big money on acquiring game content and studios. The email reveals that Microsoft claimed to be in a “very unique position to be able to go spend Sony out of business”.
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In the email between Matt Booty and Xbox CFO Tim Stuart, Booty was encouraging the purchase of multiple entities saying that spending a few billion dollars in 2019 would prevent competitors from getting ahead at a later date.
“We (Microsoft) are in a very unique position to be able to go spend Sony out of business,” said Booty in a December 2019 email, referencing spending $2 billion or $3 billion in 2020 to avoid competitors getting ahead in content at a later date. It is practically impossible for anyone to start a new video streaming service at scale at this point.”
The email continues to compare Microsoft’s business operations to other companies in the industry including Google and Amazon. It also reveals that Microsoft saw Sony as the only possible contender to Xbox Game Pass even before Sony revamped its PlayStation Plus service.
“In games, Google is 3 to 4 years away from being able to have a studio up and running. Amazon has shown no ability to execute on game content. Content is the one moat that we have, in terms of a catalog that runs on current devices and capability to create new. Sony is really the only other player who could compete with Game Pass and we have a 2 year and 10 million subs lead.”
During the trial, Microsoft claims that this email chain is old and that the company never pursued the money-spending approach. A spokesperson at the company says the email was sent at least 25 months before the company initiated its intention to purchase Activision.
With that being said, the recent findings, while being old, do reveal that Microsoft had intentions to grow in more ways than one. It was also revealed that the company looked at purchasing Bungie and SEGA at a certain point.