Sony accused of anti-competitive practices in PlayStation Store lawsuit

PlayStation Store lawsuit

The owner of digital storefront PlayStation Store, Sony, is facing a mass lawsuit worth £6.3 billion ($7.9 billion) due to practices deemed “anti-competitive,” according to the complaint, as reported by Reuters.

The issue, which was filed in 2022, boils down to the PlayStation Store charging a 30 percent commission to developers and publishers, the cost of which is, in turn, shouldered by consumers. The process is said to have essentially over-charged consumers for digital games and DLC.

Sony’s lawyers have put the effort to discard the lawsuit. However, a London tribunal gave the case a green light, with the constraint that any purchases from the PlayStation Store after the case was filed be excluded from it.

Consumer rights advocate Alex Neill spearheaded the lawsuit. In the website, PlayStation You Owe Us, he built, a FAQ can be found where he argues an issue that goes as far back as 2016.

The page reads:

Essentially, since at least 19 August 2016, we believe that Sony has been exploiting its UK customers, by charging them too much for PlayStation digital games and in-game content via its control over the entire PlayStation ecosystem.

The presented argument is allegedly a “breach of competition law”.

During the announcement of the lawsuit last year, the plaintiff cited the role that video games play in society and how Sony is exploiting its dominant position in the space.

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 [sic] 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.