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PlayStation faces a billion-dollar fine: the blame lies with the PlayStation Store

English players can recover a lot of money with this move.

PlayStation faces a billion-dollar fine: the blame lies with the PlayStation Store
Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

  • Updated:

The gaming sector is on the verge of a major shift following an approved lawsuit in the United Kingdom aiming to restore the rules of the playing field for online video game stores.

A lawsuit against Sony Interactive Entertainment, alleging that the company has imposed “excessive and unfair prices” on PlayStation Store customers, has received approval to proceed to trial in the UK.

The lawsuit was filed by consumer advocate Alex Neill last year on behalf of approximately 8.9 million British customers, claiming they’ve been overcharged up to £5 billion (around $6.26 billion) for digital purchases on the PlayStation Store over the past six years.

This lawsuit alleges that Sony has abused “its dominant position” in the market and holds an “almost monopoly on the sale of digital games and additional content thanks to its control of the PlayStation Store.”

A lawsuit that could have international consequences

The consumer advocate alleges that the company imposes “strict conditions” on game developers and publishers, allowing Sony to charge a commission of around 30% on digital purchases, resulting in higher prices for consumers (via PlayStation You Owe Us).

As stated in a press release yesterday (November 21), Neill has received approval to proceed to trial, indicating that the lawsuit has been certified by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).

If the lawsuit succeeds, Sony could face compensation ranging between £600 million and £5 billion (approximately $752 million to $6.26 billion) before interests.

And each affected person could receive compensation ranging from £67 to £562 (approximately $84 to $704) before interests. Undoubtedly, it’s a substantial sum.

“This is the first step in ensuring that consumers get back what is owed to them as a result of Sony’s law infringement. The loyalty of PlayStation players has been exploited by Sony, which has been charging them excessive prices for years,” Neill explained in the statement.

The press release notes that anyone in the UK who purchased any digital game or in-game content between August 19, 2016, and August 19, 2022, potentially has a right to compensation.

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Journalist specialized in technology, entertainment and video games. Writing about what I'm passionate about (gadgets, games and movies) allows me to stay sane and wake up with a smile on my face when the alarm clock goes off. PS: this is not true 100% of the time.

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