In 2022, a British class action lawsuit filed a complaint against the giant Sony, accusing the latter, and more specifically its PlayStation division, of abusing its dominant position. The complainants believed that Sony, through its PlayStation Store, tended to sell its games, as well as expansions, at prices that were too high.
Towards an unprecedented fine for PlayStation in Great Britain?
According to the class action led by Alex Neill, and which could bring together just under 9 million British consumers, Sony would apply prices that are too high on its shop. Sony quickly indicated that the complaint would undoubtedly be invalidated by the courts, but yesterday, the British courts indicated that the complaint would be able to proceed.
“This is the first step for consumers to recover what they are owed because Sony broke the law” explained Alex Neill. “Through this action, we seek to put an end to this illegal behavior and ensure that customers are compensated.”
The new PS5/© Sony
Indeed, if the trial comes to an end, consumers could be compensated with a sum ranging from approximately €75 to €650 each. In total, Sony could have to pay several billion dollars to affected players. The total amount of damages is estimated at 6.3 billion pounds in documents filed in court last month.
Remember that the class action includes all British players (unless otherwise stated by them) who purchased at least one game or an expansion on the PS Store, between August 19, 2016 and August 19, 2022.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal has in fact indicated that people who made purchases on the Playstation Store after the filing of the complaint in 2022 should be removed from the list of complainants.
For Alex Neill, it is abusive for Sony to require the sale of dematerialized games and their extensions only through the digital store Playstation Store, which charges a 30% commission to developers and publishers. .
It now remains to be seen whether this legal action will be able to reach its conclusion, which would place Sony in a particularly delicate situation. Remember that many players face a video game that tends to become increasingly dematerialized. Recently, the highly anticipated Alan Wake 2 was distributed only in digital format.