Multinational conglomerate Sony is facing a £6.3bn ($7.9bn) lawsuit in the United Kingdom for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the market, the New York Post has reported.
The UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled that the PlayStation maker overcharged its customers for digital items.
In 2022, Sony Interactive Entertainment was sued in the UK on behalf of 8.9 million people who purchased digital games or add-on content through its PlayStation Store.
The case against Sony was brought up by consumer advocate Alex Neill. The proposed class representative, a corporate entity controlled by Neill, seeks to represent a class of UK-domiciled users of the Sony PlayStation.
Sony is alleged to have imposed restrictive terms and conditions and/or technical restraints that required digital games and add-ons to be purchased and sold only through the PlayStation Store.
The store charges a 30% commission to developers and publishers.
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Customers therefore paid higher prices for games and add-on content than they would otherwise have done.
The company’s lawyers have described the case as “flawed from start to finish” and called for it to be dropped.
The tribunal has ruled for the continuation of Neill’s case but that anyone who purchased from the PlayStation Store after the case was filed in 2022 should not be considered as a plaintiff.
Alex Neill was quoted by Sky News Australia as saying: “This is the first step in ensuring consumers get back what they’re owed as a result of Sony breaking the law.
“PlayStation gamers’ loyalty has been taken advantage of by Sony who have been charging them excessive prices for years.”