Sony Temporarily Beats PlayStation Antitrust Class Action

On Friday a California federal judge tossed a suit accusing the Sony arm behind PlayStation of overcharging gamers billions of dollars by the monopolization of the console’s online store.

In an antitrust lawsuit filed last year, a class of players claim Sony “specifically intended to and did eliminate price competition from other digital video game retailers,” restricting consumers to its Sony PlayStation Store where they paid a higher price for digital games than at outside retailers.

The lawsuit also contends that Sony “foreclosed price competition among video game publishers to a significant degree, because they can no longer execute a strategy of offering lower retail prices to gain a higher share of sales. Instead, Sony sets the price to maximize its own profits, and Sony’s interests in choosing a retail price strategy conflict with the interests of video game publishers.”

The complaint further highlights an anticompetitive price effect stemming from Sony’s distribution change, as digital games on the PlayStation Store are priced significantly higher than physical copies sold by Walmart and Best Buy.

“The only plausible explanation for the stark price differences is Sony’s monopoly power in the market for digital PlayStation games,” The lawsuit states. “As video game disks go the way of CDs and DVDs before them, Sony has positioned itself to gain an ever-increasing share of, and eventually, a monopoly in the market for all PlayStation games.”

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