Sony Playstation is facing the prospect of a UK class action suit over allegations it “ripped” consumers off by overcharging for games an in-game purchases.
Sony Playstation is facing the prospect of a UK class action suit over allegations it “ripped” consumers off by overcharging for games an in-game purchases. The lawsuit, filed at London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, accuses the games console maker of abusing its market dominance by imposing unfair conditions on developers who then pass on “excessive and unfair” prices to consumers.
“The drive towards in-game purchases allows companies like Sony to profiteer and abuse their power because they have a captive audience,” Alex Neill, leading the claim, said. “Sony knows its customers are hooked once they are part of the PlayStation world and it exploits them with exorbitant charges on every digital purchase.”
Judges now need to approve the suit as an opt-out collective action before it can progress. Once certified the claim could sweep in 8.9 million customers and garner as much as £5 billion ($5.9 billion) in damages. Anyone in the UK who has purchased digital games or extra content on their console or through the PlayStation store since August 2016 is included in the lawsuit.
US style Opt-out class lawsuits, where someone impacted doesn’t have to be aware of the case to be included, are on the rise in the UK. Not a single claim was allowed to go ahead in the five years since rules in 2015, but 2021 saw four claims given the green light. There are now nine claims certified at the Competition Appeal Tribunal with many more waiting expected in the coming months.