Sony faces $7.9 billion lawsuit over PlayStation Store pricing

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Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is facing a massive £6.3 billion ($7.9 billion) lawsuit alleging that the company abused its dominant position in the U.K. market by charging unfair prices for digital games purchased through the PlayStation Store.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of nearly 9 million PlayStation users in the U.K., alleges that Sony used its dominant market position to force developers and publishers to sell digital games and add-on content exclusively through the PlayStation Store and charge a 30% commission on all sales. As a result, consumers are paying higher prices for these digital products than they would if the market were more competitive.

The lawsuit was filed by consumer advocate Alex Neill, who has led similar campaigns in the past. Neill argues that Sony’s actions have caused great harm to UK consumers and that the company should be held accountable for its actions.

Sony faces $7.9 billion lawsuit over PlayStation Store pricing

Sony vehemently denies the allegations, claiming that the lawsuit is “flawed from start to finish” and should be dismissed. The company insisted that its pricing practices were fair and competitive and did not abuse its market position.

Despite Sony’s objections, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled that the action could proceed, but amended it to exclude claimants who made purchases on the PlayStation Store after the action was filed in 2022.

Neil welcomed the tribunal’s ruling, calling it a “significant step” in ensuring PlayStation users receive fair pricing when purchasing digital games.

The outcome of the lawsuit could have far-reaching implications for the video game industry, potentially leading to changes in the way digital games are priced and distributed. It may also encourage other consumer advocates to take similar action against other companies accused of abusing their market power.

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