Sony PlayStation has been sued for £5 billion for ripping off nine million UK users
Is Sony abusing its market position with its 30% digital commission?
Published: 22nd August 2022 | Source: Sky News |
Sony PlayStation "ripped off" nine million UK users, lawsuit alleges
When games started to become available digitally, many saw it as an avenue that would eventually deliver cheaper games. After all, digital downloads don't require the printing of discs, the manufacture of boxes, global shipping, the stocking of retail shelves, or the payment of retail employees. All of these costs could be replaced by server costs, theoretically making games cheaper. This didn't happen.
The UK consumer rights campaigner Alex Neill has taken Sony PlayStation to court for overpricing their games and by abusing competition law to impose unfair terms on developers and consumers. Sony is being sued for £5 billion, with the lawsuit claiming that the company "ripped people off" by charging a 30% commission on all digital game sales through the PlayStation Store. The lawsuit claims that Sony PlayStation has overcharged 9 million customers.
If Sony paid the £5 billion that is requested by this lawsuit, the proceeds of this lawsuit would be split between the millions of affected gamers, with members of the class receiving between £67 and £562. "The game is up for PlayStation", Ms Neill states.
Below is what Ms Neill has stated with regards to the new lawsuit against Sony. She is advised by the London law firm Milberg London LLP.
With this legal action I am standing up for the millions of UK people who have been unwittingly overcharged. We believe Sony has abused its position and ripped off its customers.
Gaming is now the biggest entertainment industry in the UK, ahead of TV, video and music and many vulnerable people rely on gaming for community and connection. The actions of Sony is costing millions of people who can't afford it, particularly when we're in the midst of a cost of living crisis and the consumer purse is being squeezed like never before.
This lawsuit alleges that Sony's high commission on digital game sales are much higher than necessary and that these commissions have caused the price of digital games and add-ons to increase in the UK from 2016 onwards. Why 2016 onwards, because this lawsuit relies on the UK's 2015 Consumer Rights Act.
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