A recent class-action lawsuit against Sony alleging the company took part in anticompetitive acts through its control of the PlayStation store has been thrown out.
As reported by Bloomberg Law, Judge Richard Seeborg of the US District Court for the Northern District of California granted Sony’s motion to dismiss on July 15. His reasoning was that he found the evidence presented by the plaintiffs didn’t adequately allege violations under the Sherman Act, though the plaintiffs are able to file an amended complaint, should they choose to do so.
The plaintiffs consist of a group of video game players that have previously purchased digital copies of games from the PlayStation store. The group alleges that because Sony only allows digital games to be sold on its own storefront, where it can supposedly control prices, it has unlawfully monopolized the market, resulting in increased costs for consumers.
Prior to 2019 when Sony changed its policy, other retailers were able to sell its digital games. Now though, the Sony-run PlayStation Store is the only available marketplace, which the plaintiffs allege that the company can set prices for every game.
The plaintiff’s lawsuit relied on the belief that Sony’s decision to only sell its digital games on the PlayStation store was intended to cut off competition. But the group was unable to provide enough evidence that Sony actually did end a profitable business practice to take control of the market.
“For all the foregoing reasons, 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,” wrote Seeborg. “Although it is unclear at this time if the deficiencies may be cured, Plaintiff is granted leave to amend.”
Valve faces a similar lawsuit over Steam’s alleged monopoly over PC gaming storefronts.