Game News Sony and its PlayStation Store in turmoil, 8.9 million consumers and a multi-billion fine at stake
Like Google and Apple, Sony (through its PlayStation Store) is accused of abusing its dominant position to overburden developers and publishers. An initiative that would result in setting an excessive and unfair price for consumers according to Alex Neill, at the origin of the procedure.
- PlayStation Store at the heart of a legal case
- Millions of consumers and billions of euros
PlayStation Store at the heart of a legal case
In the United Kingdom, the European subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment is the subject of a class action brought by Alex Neill: former manager of Who ? (the UK equivalent for Que Choisir), she is now the CEO of Group Resolver. She is bringing a class action lawsuit against Sony, which she considers to have defrauded millions of consumers by abusing their dominant position, since 2016:
We believe that Sony is abusing its dominant position, which is a violation of EU/UK law, for the following reasons:
- Sony has an almost exclusive monopoly on the sale of digital games and additional content through its control of the PlayStation Store.
- Sony uses this dominance to enforce strict rules for publishers and developers.
- These rules allow Sony to set the price of digital games and additional content and to charge a 30% commission for each purchase of digital games or additional content from the PlayStation Store.
Moreover, Alex Neil adds that this results in an excessive and unfair price for consumers, especially since these prices are far from being proportional to the costs of the services provided by Sony to offer this content.
Millions of consumers and billions of euros
How much is this “estimated”scam“? Alex Neill says he represents nearly 9 million British consumers who have been defrauded, for an estimated amount between 600 million and 5 billion pounds sterling (711 million and 5.9 billion euros). conclude in favor of Alex Neill, each user represented could then recover between £67 and £562 (80 and 666 euros) A case which, as specified in the site’s Frequently Asked Questions (named PlayStationYouOweUsto be translated as “”PlayStation you owe us money), could take time before finding a conclusion.
Such a case has already taken place in recent years: Epic Games, developer and publisher of the now very famous Fortnite video game, had accused Google and Apple of taking advantage of their dominant position to charge 30% for each commission made on their digital store. Epic Games had then integrated a way into its game to spend money, bypassing the system put in place by the giants mentioned above. The case was then brought to court, where Epic Games had won a first victory: Apple must authorize alternative means of payment on its platform.