Microsoft was interested in buying Nintendo in 2020

Nintendo Switch

An internal email revealed as part of the FTC's lawsuit against Microsoft confirmed that Xbox boss Phil Spencer was interested in acquiring Nintendo in 2020.

At the time, he considered the company “THE main asset for us in the games sector”.

In an email sent to Microsoft EVP and CMO Chris Capossela and EVP and CMO Takeshi Numoto, Spencer wrote:

I completely agree that Nintendo is THE biggest asset for us in gaming and today games are our most likely way to attract consumers.

I've had many conversations with Nintendo LT about working more closely and I think if an American company had a chance with Nintendo, we'd probably be in the best position.

Spencer's email also reveals that at the time, Mason Morfit, a former Microsoft board member and co-chief executive of ValueAct Capital, had “heavily acquired” Nintendo stock.

So Spencer kept in touch with him because he was “likely to buy more Nintendo stock, which could create opportunities for us.” However, without this, Spencer saw no “angle for a mutually acceptable merger in the short term.”