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Court dismisses class-action antitrust lawsuit against PlayStation Store

But consumers who argue Sony selling digital games solely through its own platform can file an amended complaint

Sony Interactive Entertainment's motion to dismiss an antitrust class action over allegations of making the PlayStation Store a monopoly has been granted.

Bloomberg Law reports Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California dismissed the case on Friday, saying the plaintiffs has failed to prove Sony violated the Sherman Act's rules on anti-competitive practices.

The case was filed last year by a group of consumers following Sony's decision in 2019 to no longer sell codes for digital games through third-party stores, instead focusing all download sales on its own PlayStation Store.

The plaintiffs claimed this broke anti-trust laws, enabling Sony to control prices and unlawfully monopolise the market for digital PlayStation games.

They also pointed to increased costs, observing that PlayStation owners could be charged up to 175% more to download a game than they would if buying a physical copy.

However, Judge Seeborg ruled that the plaintiffs were unable to prove Sony did this to cut off competition, ending a profitable business practice in order to take control of the market.

"The motion to dismiss is granted because plaintiffs have failed to allege adequately anticompetitive conduct under the Sherman Act, and the other claims are derivative of the Sherman Act claims," he wrote.

"Although it is unclear at this time if the deficiencies may be cured, plaintiff is granted leave to amend."

Earlier this year, Sony was also successful in convincing the court to dismiss a gender discrimination lawsuit from a former PlayStation employee. This plaintiff was also given the right to amend and file a renewed complaint, and did so in May.

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James Batchelor

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James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.

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