Sony had previously banned third-party sellers in 2019 from selling digital codes of PlayStation games.
Sony Interactive Entertainment is now facing a class-action lawsuit from consumers over its monopolistic policies regarding the digital purchase of video games. Sony had denied third-party sellers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy the right to sell digital games through download codes two years ago.
Ever since then, players are only able to make digital purchases from the PlayStation Store. PlayStation Store is now the only source of purchasing games digitally, creating a monopoly.
The lawsuit states that this policy is the direct result of consumers now having to spend up to 175% more on Digital purchases than they would on physical discs of their desired games. According to the consumers’ statement in the filing:
“Sony’s monopoly allows it to charge supracompetitive prices for digital PlayStation games, which are significantly higher than their physical counterparts sold in a competitive retail market, and significantly higher than they would be in a competitive retail market for digital games,”
As a response to this, a Sony Spokesperson defended their policy, saying the decision had been made in order to “align key businesses globally”. They further said:
“To support full games and premium editions, SIE will introduce increased denominations at select retailers. DLC, add-ons, virtual currency, and season passes will still be available.”
However, it is important to note that not all class-action lawsuits are successful in their intended pursuit. How things will unfold will depend on what Sony chooses to do from here on out. Currently, Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit is also unveiling similar accusations as Epic Games has accused Apple of violating the antitrust laws by working as a monopoly.
The case has been filed in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco. The case is labelled as Caccuri v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, 3:21-cv-03361.
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