Sony Faces Lawsuit Over PlayStation Store Exclusives
Sony is facing a class-action lawsuit claiming an unlawful monopoly by restricting purchases of PlayStation games to the PlayStation Store.
Sony Interactive Entertainment, the owner and creator of PlayStation is facing a class-action lawsuit regarding their “monopolizing” of the PlayStation Games sold on their official PlayStation Store.
It was detailed in a Bloomberg report that the lawsuit was filed by consumers. The Lawsuit states that by restricting digital purchase of PlayStation games to the official PlayStation Store, Sony Interactive Entertainment is able to charge rates up to 175% higher than physical games sold by retailers both online and in-store.
It was mentioned in the proposed lawsuit that Sony Interactive Entertainment had stop allowing third-party retailers to sell download codes for PlayStation Games in 2019.
Because of this, the only place you can currently purchase PlayStation digital codes is the official PlayStation store.
In the lawsuit, the consumer states:
“Sony’s monopoly allows it to charge supracompetitive prices for digital PlayStation games, which are significantly higher than their physical counterparts sold in a competitive retail market, and significantly higher than they would be in a competitive retail market for digital games.”
The suit also argues that Sony’s strategy “swiftly and effectively foreclosed any and all price competition in the retail market for digital PlayStation games” by forcing publishers to “relinquish full control over the retail price” while selling games on the PlayStation Store.
When lawyer Richard Hoeg of Hoeg Law Firm was asked about the situation he stated that this lawsuit is a tricky case because of the U.S. antitrust laws. He has this to say about the case:
“Overall, I think it’s a very difficult case to make, given that (i) historically the US antitrust laws have not been used against hardware providers in such a way (a hill Epic itself has to climb in the pending litigation), (ii) Epic is going out of its way to provide testimony in their own case to establish that their theory should not be applied to console manufacturers, and (iii) Sony is being asked here to provide an affirmative service (digital code distribution) whereas Apple is effectively being asked only to get out of Epic’s way.”
Sony hasn’t commented on this latest news as of yet and it is uncertain if they will respond.The case is Caccuri v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, 3:21-cv-03361, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
It will be interesting to see how this case unfolds as it concerns all PlayStation fans and those who wish to buy the games at fair prices.