A London court last year approved a class action lawsuit brought by consumer advocate Alex Neill over price gouging of digital goods on Sony’s PlayStation Store, which could cost the Japanese company up to $7.9 billion.
The plaintiff’s statement of claim alleges that Sony abuses its market dominance by charging a 30% commission to developers and publishers who publish games on the PlayStation Store. According to the plaintiff, this leads to excessive costs for digital versions of games and supplements to them.
Since filing the lawsuit in August 2022, Sony’s lawyers have tried to dismiss the lawsuit, but the court disagreed with their arguments and allowed the case to continue. It noted that PlayStation Store users who made purchases on the store after a lawsuit was filed should not be able to act as plaintiffs.
As for the lawsuit itself, its author, Alex Neil, has created a special webpage with a section with answers to questions and other related information. “Sony is exploiting its UK customers by overcharging them for digital games and in-game PlayStation content, while controlling the entire ecosystem.”“, says the page dedicated to the lawsuit, which mentions this practice “anti-competitive”.
“Gaming is now the largest entertainment industry in the UK, surpassing television, video and music, and many vulnerable people rely on games as a means of communication and connection. Sony’s actions are costing millions of people who cannot afford them, especially as we face a cost of living crisis and consumers’ wallets are tighter than ever.”Neal said in the lawsuit.