A lawsuit brought against Sony in the UK is demanding payment of £5 billion. The lawsuit comes over anti-competitive practices on the PlayStation Store. The former director of Which UK, an organization that helps consumers consciously purchase new goods, Alex Neil was responsible for filing. The Competition Court of Appeal has been carrying the case since the last week.
According to Neil, the Japanese company is abusing of its market power. Sony is using its advantage to impose unfair terms and conditions on developers. If these developers want to offer games on the PlayStation Store, they need to agree with “unfair” policies. According to the lawsuit, Sony is taking a 30% share of all products sold in the Store. Therefore, Sony is ultimately forcing creators to raise the amount charged for their games. In the end, this brings serious harm to players.
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According to the lawsuit, Sony may need to financially compensate all people that who have made a purchase on PlayStation Store since August 19, 2016. As a result, the estimates point out to around 9 million people being involved in the lawsuit. That may result in an ultimate fine of around £5 billion which is nearly $6 billion. That certainly would result in a massive loss for the Japanese console maker. However, it’s upon to court to decide.
Sony and the PlayStation Store are the only targets of the lawsuit
Curiously, Sony and the PlayStation Store are the only targets of this lawsuit. It’s not covering companies like Apple, Microsoft and Valve. All these companies typically charge the same 30% share on their respective stores. In a statement, the former director of Which UK states that “Sony PlayStation’s time has come”. Therefore, his actions represent millions of people in the UK. According to him, millions of customers have been paying excessive and unfair prices.
“Games are now the biggest entertainment industry in the UK, ahead of TV, videos, and music and many vulnerable people depend on them for communities and connections. Sony’s PlayStation Store is costing millions of people who can’t afford it, particularly when we’re in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and the consumer purse is being expressed like never before,” said Neil.
Worth noting, that besides PlayStation Store, the PlayStation Console division is also in the spotlight now. The Japanese company announced a major price hike for the PS5 of €50 in several European countries and other regions including Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Meanwhile, rumors emerge about a September event.