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Legal claim filed against Sony over 30% store cut

Suit accuses PlayStation maker of "abuse of market power" and overcharging consumers

A lawsuit that seeks to win compensation for almost nine million UK consumers was filed against Sony last week, accusing the PlayStation maker of abusing its status to overcharge players, developers and publishers.

According to consumer rights expert Alex Neill, who filed the suit with the Competition Appeal Tribunal, Sony is in breach of competition law by "abusing its market power to improve unfair terms and conditions on game developers and publishers," which in turn has forced prices up for players.

The filing also accuses the platform holder of "ripping people off" by charging commission on every digital game and in-game item sold via the PlayStation Store, which allows it to take a 30% cut of all purchases.

It's the same 30% cut that both Apple and Google have been scrutinised for taking in recent years -- and the same cut that spurred a long legal battle between Apple and Epic when the latter attempted to dodge App Store fees. Epic also lodged a similar suit against Google's store fees.

The filing against Sony claims that consumers that have purchased anything via the store since August 2016 are potentially entitled to compensation, which could reach up to £5 billion in damages.

GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Sony for comment.

Last month, an antitrust class action that accused Sony of creating a monopoly with the PlayStation store was dismissed, as the plaintiffs failed to prove that the company has violated the Sherman Act's anti-competitive practices.

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Danielle Partis avatar

Danielle Partis

News Editor

Danielle is a multi award-winning journalist and editor that joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2021. She previously served as editor at PocketGamer.biz, and is also a co-founder of games outlet Overlode.