What PlayStation’s “monopoly” lawsuits get wrong about digital game sales

What PlayStation’s “monopoly” lawsuits get wrong about digital game sales

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A second law firm has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Sony for its alleged monopoly control of digital PlayStation game distribution. But both lawsuits seem to be operating on a fundamental misunderstanding regarding the mechanics of how “retail” competition works in the market for downloadable console games.

Unlike the previous lawsuit filed by Westerman Law Corp, this new lawsuit filed by the Saveri Law Firm focuses almost exclusively on the Digital Edition (DE) of the PlayStation 5, which is sold without a disc drive. On this hardware, the suit argues, “consumers… are left with two choices: purchase games directly from Sony using the PlayStation Store, or purchase another console for hundreds of dollars.”

The Digital Edition and the Standard Edition of the PS5 are not interchangeable markets, the suit argues, because of the “large price discount” of $100 for the Digital Edition hardware. The suit argues that a consumer faced with a legally relevant “small but significant and non-transitory increase in price” in digital games on the PS5 “would not transition away from the PS5 DE to the PS5.”

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