Lawsuit on PlayStation Store Prices Might Pose Sony $7.9 Billion Loss

The London Tribunal has ruled that a consumer rights advocate's lawsuit against Sony can proceed.

Highlights
  • A lawsuit filed last August claimed Sony UK is charging a 30% commission to devs and publishers for products on the PS Store.
  • Sony tried to get the case dismissed but the London Tribunal ruled out Sony and gave a green signal for the lawsuit to continue.
  • The lawsuit was filed by Alex Neill, a consumer rights advocate.
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A lawsuit was filed last year against Sony alleging that the company is exploiting its position as the primary seller of digital games on the PlayStation Store by charging a 30% commission to developers and publishers. Despite the PS5 maker’s concerns, The London tribunal is allowing the lawsuit to move forward which could cost Sony a massive loss of $7.9 billion as reported by Reuters.

The lawsuit was filed in August 2022 which basically argued that Sony’s anti-competitive tactics allowed it to charge a 30% commission on all sales in the PlayStation Store rather than charging a lower amount and passing the savings on to users. As a result, according to the lawsuit, PlayStation overcharges users for digital games and DLC.

Sony’s attorneys tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, but the tribunal upheld it, with the exception that those who made PlayStation Store purchases after the action was filed in 2022 should be excluded from the claimant class.

The Lawsuit Claims PlayStation Maker is Charging More for Its Users, Says ‘Anti-Competitive’

playstation store
Snippet via PlayStation Store Official Website

The lawsuit was filed by Alex Neill, a consumer rights advocate. A website which was dedicated to this lawsuit claims that Sony has been exploiting its UK consumers since at least August 19, 2016, by charging them too much for PlayStation digital games and in-game material via its dominance over the whole PlayStation ecosystem.

“The actions of Sony are 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,” said Alex Neill while filing his case.

Sony’s attorneys claimed that the lawsuit was “flawed from start to finish” and that it should be ruled out. However, the tribunal does not stand in favour of Sony, saying failed to establish that the [complaint] has no reasonable grounds for making the claims/no real prospect of succeeding at trial.”

In a statement, Neill stated that Tuesday’s decision was “the first step in ensuring consumers get what they’re owed.”

We have seen a similar case in other legal challenges, especially in the Epic vs Apple Store lawsuit and the ongoing Epic vs Google court trial. The Fortnite company said that the App Store and Google Play charge absurd charges to everybody else who wants to run a business on both of them. However, the judge ruled in favour of Apple.


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