Is Sony a Monopoly?

Sony is under fire đŸ”„Â LAWSUITS ARE PILING UP FOR PLAYSTATION
It appears that Sony may have to defend its online marketplace in court. Yet another law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against the company and its restrictions on digital game sales.

The Joseph Saveri Law Firm, which specializes in antitrust cases and global competition, filed Cendejas v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC on March 7, aiming at the company's control over the online sale of its video games. The case represents "a proposed class of more than a million individuals across the U.S. who were overcharged billions of dollars on their purchases of digital copies of video games through the PlayStation Store."

This is at least the second lawsuit filed on behalf of PlayStation fans to allege that Sony has established a monopoly on the sale of digital copies of games for PlayStation consoles. As consumers can no longer purchase digital keys for PlayStation games from outside retailers, Sony can effectively set its own prices on titles sold through the PlayStation Store without any competition.

As such, the suit claims, consumers who prefer to purchase digital copies of their game (as is increasingly common today) have been "forced to pay a higher price for digital PlayStation games than they would in a free and unrestrained competitive retail market."

Digital game sale lawsuits are a response to a Sony policy change

So why have fans suddenly taken an interest in Sony's digital sales policies? Both of the lawsuits specifically cite a 2019 decision by Sony to halt the sale of digital download codes by retailers for PlayStation games, which was first reported on Twitter via a leaked GameStop memo.

Before that change, consumers could compare prices on the PlayStation Store to those at retailers such as GameStop or Amazon and purchase whichever one was better priced. Now, gamers looking to buy a digital copy of a title have only one option, and Sony has no incentive to match discounts offered by retailers that are trying to unload copies of older or less popular games.

This practice has become especially impactful for gamers who own a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, as they now have only a single option for purchasing games: the PlayStation Store. While the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition was marketed as a lower-priced option for gamers eager to own the new console, for some fans, it was also the only option after Sony was, as the lawsuit states, "unable to meet the actual demand from consumers."

Essentially, both lawsuits allege that Sony has created a marketplace that it completely controls, and that the company is mistreating its consumers by forcing them to pay inflated prices. With more than one class action lawsuit filed against it, Sony will likely have to answer for its policies soon

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