According to a new class-action lawsuit filed against Sony, consumers pay 175 % more for digital PlayStation games. Sony considers a class-action lawsuit from customers who claim Sony has a monopoly by only allowing digital PlayStation games to be purchased through the official PlayStation Store.
According to the lawsuit, on April 1, 2019, Sony prohibited third-party retailers such as Amazon and GameStop from selling download codes for PlayStation games, making the PlayStation Store the only place to buy digital PlayStation games.
According to the lawsuit, Sony’s policy “quickly and effectively foreclosed any price competition in the retail market for digital PlayStation games” by requiring publishers who sell games on the PlayStation Store to “relinquish full control over the retail price.”
According to the class-action lawsuit, this all leads to consumers paying 75-175 % more for digital games from the PlayStation Store than they do for physical counterparts.
Certain games, such as Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, have remained at their standard price. The physical version has been discounted several times at other retailers.
Newegg even ran a sale on digital Xbox codes, lowering prices by up to 70%, but could not do the same for PlayStation.
The class-action lawsuit claims that “Sony’s new restrictions established a monopoly over the sale of digital PlayStation games.”
“Sony’s monopoly enables it to charge supracompetitive prices for digital PlayStation games, which are significantly higher than physical counterparts sold in a competitive retail market and significantly higher than they would be in a competitive retail market for digital games.”
The PlayStation Store is the only place where you can purchase digital PlayStation games.
We’ve reached out to Sony for comment and will update this post if we receive a response.
According to Richard Hoeg of Hoeg Law Firm, the lawsuit is complicated due to long-standing US antitrust laws.
Overall, I believe it’s a complex case to make, given that.
(i) Historically, US antitrust laws have not been used against hardware providers in such a way (a hill Epic must climb in the pending litigation).
(ii) Epic is going out of its way to provide testimony in their case to establish that they should not apply their theory to console manufacturers.
(iii) Sony is being asked here to provide testimony.
The court will decide whether to certify a class (more than one plaintiff) in the Caccuri vs. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC lawsuit based on several factors, including the number of individuals affected and how similar the facts surrounding the claims in the suit are.
All eyes are on the Epic v. Apple trial, which could pave the way for lawsuits against monopolistic corporations.