PlayStation is in the middle of two class action lawsuits over monopoly pricing.
PlayStation was hit by a class action lawsuit over monopoly pricing on the PlayStation Store earlier this month. A second lawsuit was recently filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The most recent lawsuit is an antitrust class action lawsuit, Caccuri v Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, and was filed by the law firm Joseph Saveri.
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According to the lawsuit, “PlayStation stopped selling digital game codes through external retailers two years ago.” If a PlayStation owner wants to “buy a digital game, they have to buy one on their storefront, creating a monopoly of their own on PlayStation digital content and allowing Sony to overcharge those games.”
It’s not just the owners who are frustrated with the supposed monopoly. In fact, anyone who has bought a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition “has no other alternative to buying games”. The suit states that when “retailers like Best Buy or Target have sales for Switch or Xbox video games, the digital versions are often offered for the same price… The PlayStation Store has frequent sales, but the prices are often less competitive than those of other retailers. “
The lawsuit also alleges that consumers are often forced to pay higher prices for PlayStation digital games “than would be the case in a free and unrestricted competitive market”. The class action also argues that consumers on the PlayStation Store often pay up to “175% more for the same games on the PlayStation Store than for physical releases”.
Unfortunately, these two lawsuits are likely to join in more, according to lawyer Richard Hoeg. Commenting on the matter, he said, “We are likely to see cases similar to this bundled into one to be heard in a court of law. There probably won’t be many different lawsuits discussing the same case against Sony, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference between them. ” He added:
“You will only receive multiple lawsuits if there is one element of a complaint / proposed class that is materially different from other allegations … However, in general you will only be looking at one case.”
Hoeg added that “Lawyers make money when they are selected as attorneys for a class in a class action … Because of this, there is often a” race to the courthouse “where the proposed lead plaintiffs overlap to advance the class action of a plaintiff to get this position. “
The gaming world is huge so it will be interesting to see how these suits develop.
Sony is suing for restricting the purchase of games to the PlayStation Store
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