In a groundbreaking ruling, a London tribunal has given the green light for a mass lawsuit against Sony, potentially costing the tech giant up to a staggering £6.3 billion ($7.9 billion). The lawsuit alleges that Sony abused its dominant position within the gaming industry, leading to inflated prices for digital games and add-on content on its PlayStation Store.
The lawsuit, representing approximately nine million UK consumers who made purchases through the PlayStation Store, was initiated last year. Spearheaded by consumer advocate Alex Neill, the case accuses Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) of enforcing an exclusive sales model through the PlayStation Store, imposing a hefty 30 percent commission on developers and publishers.
Neill argues that this practice has unfairly burdened consumers with higher prices for digital games and add-ons than they would have paid through a more competitive market, Reuters news report said.
Sony’s legal team vehemently contested the claims, labeling the case as fundamentally flawed and requesting its dismissal. However, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled in favor of allowing Neill’s case to progress. Despite this, the tribunal did specify that individuals who made purchases on the PlayStation Store after the lawsuit was filed in 2022 would be excluded from the claimant class.
In response to the tribunal’s decision, Neill expressed satisfaction, stating that this ruling marks the initial step toward securing justice for consumers. As of now, Sony has not released any official comments regarding the tribunal’s ruling.
The outcome of this lawsuit could significantly impact the gaming industry, potentially reshaping the landscape of digital game sales and pricing structures, as well as setting a precedent for similar cases globally.