Large companies are known worldwide and have immense influence in their respective sectors, often leading in them. As a result, smaller brands and businesses may struggle to compete in terms of pricing and sales. Although Sony escaped a monopoly lawsuit in July 2022, by August, they faced another one. This time, Sony will have to contend with a 7.9 billion-dollar lawsuit accusing them of monopoly and excessive pricing on the PlayStation Store.
Video games have been purchased in physical formats since their inception, but the arrival of digital formats and their benefits have attracted many gamers in recent years. Online stores that allow customers to purchase any game regardless of age or availability are one of the advantages. However, the most important aspect is the convenience of buying at any time, often at lower prices. This is a point of contention, as digital games can be cheaper in some cases but more expensive in others.
Sony sued for digital sales monopoly with PlayStation Store
Whether or not a game is worth purchasing in a digital or physical format depends on individual preferences and the availability of discounts in stores. Although PC platforms such as Steam or Epic Games Store have sales, consoles have their own equivalents, like Sony’s PlayStation Store, which is the principal method of acquiring digital games.
Despite periodic sales, Sony must face a massive lawsuit in the United Kingdom that could cost them 7.9 billion dollars. The lawsuit, filed on August 19, 2022, by Alex Neill, co-founder of Consumer Voice and advocate for the 8.9 million UK PlayStation users, accuses Sony of holding a virtual monopoly on digital sales on the platform.
If Sony loses, they will pay between £67 and £562 to each consumer
Sony is accused of charging excessive prices for both game sales and in-game purchases (microtransactions) and imposing a 30% commission on developers and publishers, similar to the Apple case. The lawsuit claims that the imposed prices are unreasonably high compared to Sony’s costs to provide these services.
This year-old lawsuit has advanced because the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) voted in favor of Neill. Sony will now have to appeal in court to present its arguments and attempt to avoid paying the staggering 7.9 billion-dollar penalty. If the plaintiff wins, Sony will have to pay damages and compensation ranging from £67 to £562 to each UK consumer who purchased a game on the PlayStation Store between August 19, 2016, and August 19, 2022.
The article titled “Sony sued for 7.9 billion, accusing them of a monopoly and high prices on the PlayStation Store” was first published on El Chapuzas Informático.