Sony is being sued for $5.9 billion over the price of its online PlayStation Store prices, which the plaintiff claims Sony is overcharging consumers and abusing its position as the primary seller of PlayStation games digitally.
As reported by Sky News, consumer rights advocate Alex Neill – the ex-managing director of non-profit consumer advice organisation Which UK – is leading the legal action and said “the game is up for Sony PlayStation.”
The lawsuit, filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal on August 19, states that consumers have been overcharged for digital purchases of games and DLC as Sony is charging a 30% commission.
“We believe Sony has abused its position and ripped off its customers.”
“With this legal action I am standing up for the millions of UK people who have been unwittingly overcharged,” said Neill. “We believe Sony has abused its position and ripped off its customers.
“Gaming is now the biggest entertainment industry in the UK, ahead of TV, video, and music, and many vulnerable people rely on gaming for community and connection.”
“The actions of Sony 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 squeezed like never before.”
The crux of the lawsuit is that, as the primary (and dominant) seller of digital PlayStation products, Sony is in a position to overcharge for its items. The legal action claims it’s doing exactly that, forcing consumers to overspend unfairly and, as a result, is in breach of competition law.
“Sony dominates the digital distribution of PlayStation games and in-game content,” said Natasha Pearman, the legal partner leading the case.
“It has deployed an anti-competitive strategy which has resulted in excessive prices to customers that are out of all proportion to the costs of Sony providing its services.”
The estimated damages per individual over the last six years range from around $79 to around $664, excluding interest, which amasses to the $5.9 billion total, the lawsuit claims.