PlayStation staring at £5bn legal action for ‘ripping off customers

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Two people playing FIFA on PlayStation

Key points:

  • Sony PlayStation is being for £5bn as consumers claim they were ripped off
  • Alex Neill has filed a lawsuit against Sony in the Competition Appeal Tribunal on behalf of nearly 9 million UK customers
  • Every customer could receive between £67 and £562 in damages (excluding interest)

Sony, one of the largest tech companies in the world is starting a £5bn legal lawsuit in England and Wales. The lawsuit is a collective action taken by Alex Neill on behalf of nearly 9 million customers in the United Kingdom at the Competition Appeal Tribunal. 

The collective has accused PlayStation of “stealing” from customers with pricey in-game purchases and overpriced games. Every victim who was at the receiving end of the bargain stands to receive between £67 and £562 excluding interest. 

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Why is Sony being sued?

The lawsuit filed against Sony accuses the company of making a mockery of competition law by misusing its market dominance to impose prejudiced terms and conditions on publishers and game creators. Thus, consumers have to shell out more money to buy games and make in-game purchases. 

Allegedly, Sony has “ripped people off” by asking for a 30% commission on every in-game purchase and digital game via the PlayStation Store. The lawsuit states that over the past six years, consumers have been unfairly overcharged for their purchases by a whopping £5bn. 

The legal action filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal also states that every individual who has purchased add-ons and digital games on the console from the PlayStation Playstore since August 2016 is entitled to compensation. Every member can receive compensation between £67 and £562 without interest. 

“The game is up for Sony PlayStation”, said consumer champion, Alex Neill while speaking to Sky News. Neill further stated that the legal action is on behalf of millions of customers in the UK who were unlawfully charged by the company. 

Ms. Neill further added that the gaming industry that gaming is now the biggest entertainment industry in the UK, ahead of video, music, and TV. Many individuals turn to video games for a sense of connection and community. These unjust actions of Sony are affecting millions of gamers in the UK who cannot afford games. Besides, this combined with the cost-of-living crisis has left millions of people in a disarray. 

Sony’s recent court appearances

Sony successfully persuaded A US courtroom last month to drop a different case that alleged the PlayStation Store was anti-competitive.

The lawsuit stated “Sony had unfairly monopolized the market as it only distributes digital versions of PlayStation games on the PlayStation Store.

The plaintiffs, a group of gamers who buy games from the PlayStation Store, were required to show, by the ruling, that the decision to only sell games on the PlayStation Store was made to restrict competition and that it had swept away a successful business to grab market control.

What will Sony’s fate be this time around? Will Sony get out of this lawsuit? You can share your thoughts on this story by leaving your comments below. 

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Feature Image Source: Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

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Karandeep is a technical content writer based out of Pune, a city in India that is also known as the Oxford of the East. His journey with writing started in 2014 when he decided to try his luck in a gaming startup as a Content Developer. Since then, he has written on a wide range of topics within the gaming and the tech space. Apart from his love for gaming, Karandeep is keeping tabs on the hottest trends in the tech industry. After completing his Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) from Symbiosis International University, Pune, he worked as an intern in an NGO that focused on urban development.
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