£5 Billion Claim Against PlayStation Can Go Ahead Tribunal Rules

Claim wants to hold PlayStation to account for alleged excessive PlayStation Store prices

PlayStation logo on blue background

A £5 Billion Lawsuit against PlayStations’s European arm Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe can go ahead. A judgement handed down yesterday by the UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal said the £5 Billion claim can now go to trial.

The claim was brought by consumer rights expert Alex Neill on behalf of 8.9 million PlayStation customers. The lawsuit asserts that since at least 19th August 2016 Sony has abused its dominant position in the market and has been exploiting its UK customers by charging “rip-off” prices for digital games and add-on content.

The claim was filed in the Competition Appeals Tribunal in 2022. It centres around Sony’s near Monopoly of games and digital content sold through the PlayStation Store. The lawsuit alleges that Sony’s 30% commission on every purchase made on the PlayStation Store means that UK consumers have essentially been paying higher prices than they should have. The claim says that the prices Sony charges are out of all proportion of the costs to Sony of providing the service.

“PlayStation gamers’ loyalty has been taken advantage of”

Sony’s lawyers had argued that the case was “flawed from start to finish” and asked for the case to be thrown out. However, Tribunal judges ruled that Alex Neill’s case can continue. If the case is successful then UK customers who have made purchases on the PlayStation Store could be entitled to a slice of the compensation. But the Tribunal ruled that people who purchased from the PlayStation Store after the case was filed last year were not eligible to be included in the claimant class.

In a statement, Alex Neill said “This is the first step in ensuring consumers get back what they’re owed as a result of Sony breaking the law. Playstation gamers’ loyalty has been taken advantage of by Sony who has been charging them excessive prices for years.”

“It is significant that the competition court has recognised Sony must explain its actions by
ordering them to trial. With this action, we are seeking to put a stop to this unlawful conduct
and ensure customers are compensated.”

Natasha Pearman, the lawyer leading the litigation for Millberg London LLP said “We are delighted to have achieved certification for our claim against Sony. Companies who break the law must be held to account and we are determined to ensure this happens and consumers get access to justice.”

You can find out more about his claim against PlayStation at playstationyouoweus.co.uk.

Sources: playstationyouoweus.co.uk, Reuters