Sony fails to stop $7.9 billion lawsuit over PlayStation Store prices

midian182

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What just happened? A $7.9 billion lawsuit against Sony over claims the company "ripped people off" by overcharging consumers for games and in-game purchases from its PlayStation Store is heading to trial after the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) ruled in favor of the plaintiff.

Consumer rights champion Alex Neill launched the suit against Sony back in August 2022. She accused the Japanese giant of breaching competition law by abusing its market power and imposing unfair terms and conditions on game developers and publishers, thereby pushing up the selling price of titles for consumers.

The "ripping people off" part of the argument stems from the fact consumers are required to buy digital PlayStation games and DLC from the PlayStation Store, where Sony takes a 30% cut of all sales. Because Sony takes this percentage, it's alleged that buyers are paying higher prices than they should be. The suit also says that the amount Sony takes is disproportionate to the costs incurred by the company when facilitating the sales.

The class action suit claims that consumers have been overcharged by £5 billion ($5.9 billion) plus interest over the last six years for PS Store games and DLC. It adds that around nine million people have been affected. Should the claim prove successful, each person could receive between £67 ($84) and £562 ($704) in damages.

Sony tried to block the case, arguing that it was "flawed from start to finish," but the CAT has just granted approval for it to go to trial. However, the tribunal did stipulate that anyone who made PlayStation Store purchases after the case was filed last year should be removed from the proposed claimant class.

"This is the first step in ensuring consumers get back what they're owed as a result of Sony breaking the law. It is significant that the competition court has recognised Sony must explain its actions by ordering them to trial," said Neill.

"PlayStation gamers' loyalty has been taken advantage of by Sony, who has been charging them excessive prices for years. With this action, we are seeking to put a stop to this unlawful conduct and ensure customers are compensated."

The claim relies on the opt-out collective action regime introduced by the UK's Consumer Rights Act 2015. It makes it easier for consumers and businesses to bring private actions for damages suffered due to competition law infringements on behalf of an entire class of claimants - in this case, PlayStation Store users.

A similar case accusing Sony of anti-competitive behavior was thrown out by a US court last year as the plaintiffs failed to prove that the company violated the Sherman Act, which outlaws monopolization.

If you live in the UK and purchased any digital games or in-game content between August 19, 2016, and August 19, 2022, you can join the suit for the chance to receive compensation.

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Sony Dualsense Edge is the best controller ever made... and also the most fragile controller ever made.

The new back buttons are so fragile that they are lasting mere weeks before breaking off due to improper design. Their Quality management process was not sufficient and today, all these controllers should be recalled.

Not believing me?

Happened to me last week... I was lucky to be able to sent the controller back to amazon and getting refunded. Not to mention Sony is not covering shipping for their accessories warranty. You will need to pay shipping for sending the controller to them.

 
Sony Dualsense Edge is the best controller ever made... and also the most fragile controller ever made.

The new back buttons are so fragile that they are lasting mere weeks before breaking off due to improper design. Their Quality management process was not sufficient and today, all these controllers should be recalled.

Not believing me?

Happened to me last week... I was lucky to be able to sent the controller back to amazon and getting refunded. Not to mention Sony is not covering shipping for their accessories warranty. You will need to pay shipping for sending the controller to them.

What's this got to do with the digital store lawsuit?
 
The "ripping people off" by required to buy digital PlayStation games and DLC from the PlayStation Store... Like the new release of Naruto storm connection... Perfect Example!!
 
Only corporate shills or fanboys will ever try to justify being charged more. Rest of us will hope that Sony loses this case and we get cheaper games.
I have no playstation or Sony devices, but believe that Sony should be able to charge whatever they want. People can then decide if they want to be paying prices, that are perhaps more than in other outlets.
 
The "ripping people off" by required to buy digital PlayStation games and DLC from the PlayStation Store... Like the new release of Naruto storm connection... Perfect Example!!
So, don't use Sony as a provider of video games. Shop elsewhere.
 
I have no playstation or Sony devices, but believe that Sony should be able to charge whatever they want. People can then decide if they want to be paying prices, that are perhaps more than in other outlets.
Issue is the people are forced to buy only from Sony store. Walled gardens are anti consumer.
 
Issue is the people are forced to buy only from Sony store. Walled gardens are anti consumer.
Sure, but people willingly enter into these so called walled gardens. There are other options out there, Sony forces no-one to invest in the PS Store. Once again, people are taking their own poor choices and making them the responsibility of someone else.
 
Sure, but people willingly enter into these so called walled gardens. There are other options out there, Sony forces no-one to invest in the PS Store. Once again, people are taking their own poor choices and making them the responsibility of someone else.
That's what corporates want us to think, my way or highway.
They can create a product and then force you to use it and even make further transactions to it in their own forced ways.

We will hate it if a car forced us to buy gas from a particular outlet only and car company got 30% cut on gas. Now if all car companies sfarted doing it will you defend them all by saying those who don't want to pay extra can walk? No! You will expect the government to step in to create reasonable limits.

Same is happening here. None of us have anything against Sony but what they and Apple are doing is anti consumer.
 
That's what corporates want us to think, my way or highway.
They can create a product and then force you to use it and even make further transactions to it in their own forced ways.

We will hate it if a car forced us to buy gas from a particular outlet only and car company got 30% cut on gas. Now if all car companies sfarted doing it will you defend them all by saying those who don't want to pay extra can walk? No! You will expect the government to step in to create reasonable limits.

Same is happening here. None of us have anything against Sony but what they and Apple are doing is anti consumer.

But, we are not being forced to do anything. I chose not to buy a Playstation or Nintendo because I hate their walled garden approach to their stores. How can others not take responsibility in the same way?

There are always companies willing to offer the same, but without these added prices. But, people are dumb. They want the kudos of the PS or Apple brand, but cry that that exclusivity comes with a tax...always has done, always will. Certain brands cost more than otherss for no reason other than simple marketing. I don't demand Starbucks lower their coffee prices, but I accept if I choose to enter their store, then I am subject to their prices....but I'm also free to choose another outlet if I want.
 
What's this got to do with the digital store lawsuit?
Sony business model is known for dodging the laws. It was proven in numerous case with their own hardware and the way they deal with new issue arising like the Dualsense Edge arising issue.

It has everything to do with this lawsuit. It is their corporate attitude toward customers that is put into the spotlight.
 
But, we are not being forced to do anything. I chose not to buy a Playstation or Nintendo because I hate their walled garden approach to their stores. How can others not take responsibility in the same way?

There are always companies willing to offer the same, but without these added prices. But, people are dumb. They want the kudos of the PS or Apple brand, but cry that that exclusivity comes with a tax...always has done, always will. Certain brands cost more than otherss for no reason other than simple marketing. I don't demand Starbucks lower their coffee prices, but I accept if I choose to enter their store, then I am subject to their prices....but I'm also free to choose another outlet if I want.
Ahhh... so cute... it is user error...

No pal, it isn't. No matter the company, you are going to get screwed at some point. It is so funny to see you picture Sony and Nintendo in a corner, so I can deduce that you are in team M$... which is 10 times worst, but let's spin the narrative...
 
Ahhh... so cute... it is user error...

No pal, it isn't. No matter the company, you are going to get screwed at some point. It is so funny to see you picture Sony and Nintendo in a corner, so I can deduce that you are in team M$... which is 10 times worst, but let's spin the narrative...

Do most of my gaming on a Steam Deck at the moment, and also have a pc.....so, no real dog in the fight. I only used Sony and Nintendo as examples as I have direct experience in the past with those companies, but don't use xbox so cant speak to their store policies.
 
Sony business model is known for dodging the laws. It was proven in numerous case with their own hardware and the way they deal with new issue arising like the Dualsense Edge arising issue.

It has everything to do with this lawsuit. It is their corporate attitude toward customers that is put into the spotlight.

The DualSense is lovely, but has terrible durability, I have seen so many busted controllers only a few months old. The same happened with the horrible joycon drift issue....and Nintendo brushed that off for ages, similar to Sony.

I cannot understand why people still buy these products en masse, knowing the track record of them. If hardware from Sony is so unreliable, and their store prices are more expensive, why are new gamers, armed with this knowledge, still choosing to purchase the PS5? Makes absolutely no sense, especially when very little is even exclusive in terms of software.
 
But, we are not being forced to do anything. I chose not to buy a Playstation or Nintendo because I hate their walled garden approach to their stores. How can others not take responsibility in the same way?

There are always companies willing to offer the same, but without these added prices. But, people are dumb. They want the kudos of the PS or Apple brand, but cry that that exclusivity comes with a tax...always has done, always will. Certain brands cost more than otherss for no reason other than simple marketing. I don't demand Starbucks lower their coffee prices, but I accept if I choose to enter their store, then I am subject to their prices....but I'm also free to choose another outlet if I want.
This is dangerous way of thinking. Just because you are not using Sony products doesn't mean you should defend this behavior. Walled gardens shall be optional. Want vanilla experience? Go right ahead, But don't penalize or stop those who want something different.

For your Starbucks analogy its not the price of coffee that is the problem. It is that the Starbucks coffee is being sold in a Sony shop and Sony is charging 30% extra on Starbucks coffee. Starbucks coffee in this example has to be purchased from Sony shop as it can only be served on special Sony cups! If you say that a cup cost like couple of cents why they are charging 30% of Starbucks coffee price or that you should be able to drink coffee in other cup then you understand the problem.
 
This is dangerous way of thinking. Just because you are not using Sony products doesn't mean you should defend this behavior. Walled gardens shall be optional. Want vanilla experience? Go right ahead, But don't penalize or stop those who want something different.

For your Starbucks analogy its not the price of coffee that is the problem. It is that the Starbucks coffee is being sold in a Sony shop and Sony is charging 30% extra on Starbucks coffee. Starbucks coffee in this example has to be purchased from Sony shop as it can only be served on special Sony cups! If you say that a cup cost like couple of cents why they are charging 30% of Starbucks coffee price or that you should be able to drink coffee in other cup then you understand the problem.
People willingly choose to be overcharged. There is nothing vanilla about gaming on other non Sony platforms. In fact, there is almost zero benefit to owning a playstation, yet millions do. All companies upsell, they buy from a supplier and sell in their shop for more. If I don't like Sony taking 30 percent, I go somewhere that takes less. I see many shops that sell the same brands and products for different prices, so I shop where the best value is. I know that a bottle of sparkling water will cost more in an upmarket cafe, than the same brand will in the supermarket.
 
This smacks of the Epic lawsuit against Apple and Google (a little surprised they're not going after Sony/MS/Nintendo also honestly) although its more focused on the primary cut rather than in-game-in-app purchases.

I'm thinking the overall outcome will likely be the same, overall victory for Sony with some minor concessions to the plaintiff.
 
People willingly choose to be overcharged. There is nothing vanilla about gaming on other non Sony platforms. In fact, there is almost zero benefit to owning a playstation, yet millions do. All companies upsell, they buy from a supplier and sell in their shop for more. If I don't like Sony taking 30 percent, I go somewhere that takes less. I see many shops that sell the same brands and products for different prices, so I shop where the best value is. I know that a bottle of sparkling water will cost more in an upmarket cafe, than the same brand will in the supermarket.
People also willingly fall for ponzi schemes, willingly hand over property to scammers, and willingly follow cult leaders. Does that mean those things should also be legal, in your eyes? If not, why?
 
So, don't use Sony as a provider of video games. Shop elsewhere.

What about exclusivity? DLC? Stuff you can't get elsewhere? Buying gifts for children, etc? Besides, this is not really the arguement.

The question here is not why people choose to buy from Sony or not. The question is are Sony overcharging?
 
I don't demand Starbucks lower their coffee prices, but I accept if I choose to enter their store, then I am subject to their prices....but I'm also free to choose another outlet if I want.
The problem I see with this analogy is that, the drinks are made by third party's. Sony brand the store (PS Store) and make the special cups (PS5) but the coffee itself (third party developers) isn't made by Sony.

Overall I understand the argument that you can just go to another platform such as Xbox, Nintendo or the PC. But at the same time, I do think we need regulations that state companies cannot be the sole app store for their respective platforms.

Back in the old days, You could go to Argos, Game, Amazon, Tesco's, so many places sold games and competed on price. With the advent of single store platforms, you no longer get that competition and it only gets worse.
Access to your game hinges on said company keeping their servers on forever (hint, they won't) and you paid more for it even though it was a download and not physical media that needed to be made and shipped.
There's no longer a second hand market or even a way to give your game away to a friend.

There's far more downsides to these closed ecosystems to the consumer than their is upsides is what I'm getting at, there's definitely an argument to be made it's anti-consumer.
 
What about exclusivity? DLC? Stuff you can't get elsewhere? Buying gifts for children, etc? Besides, this is not really the arguement.

The question here is not why people choose to buy from Sony or not. The question is are Sony overcharging?

Why can't they charge the prices they want? They are allowed to be more expensive, as is any other shop that sells third party products and services. We, as consumers, can decide where we go. People know, or should know, about pricing and availability of dlc etc before they buy a console. Why we feel the need to reward ignorance is beyond comprehension.
 
Everyone knows what they are getting into - developers , sony customers

If Sony tries to control developers outside of PS - then I'm all for it - if just some general catch all and unreasonable

Least with Apple that I hate - it is a more essential device and captive base and I can see merit in allowing say other message apps on the device
 
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