Sony to face £6bn lawsuit over PlayStation Store pricing

A London tribunal has said that Sony must face a mass lawsuit worth up to £6.3 billion over alleged abuse of its dominant position in videogames.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), the division which oversees the PlayStation brand, was sued on behalf of 9 million UK customers who had made purchases through the PlayStation Store in 2022.

The case, which is valued at up to £5 billion plus interest, is being led by co-founder of consumer rights watchdog Consumer Voice Alex Neill.

Neill argues that Sony has abused its dominant position by requiring digital games and add-ons – otherwise known as downloadable content (DLC) – to exclusively be bought and sold via the PlayStation Store which charges a 30 per cent commission to developers and publishers.
This commission, the lawsuit claims, has led consumers to overpay for content purchased on the PlayStation Store.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal said that the case can proceed, but noted that Brits who made purchases after it was filed in 2022 should be removed from the proposed claimant class.

In a statement, Neill said: “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 has been charging them excessive prices for years.”

Natasha Pearman, the partner leading the litigation and head of competition litigation at Milberg London LLP, added: “We are delighted to have achieved certification for our claim against Sony. Companies who break the law must be held to account and we are determined to ensure this happens and consumers get access to justice.”

Reacting to the ruling, lawyers representing Sony said that the case was “flawed from start to finish” and should be thrown out.

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