Millions of Britons may claim share of £5bn as Playstation face legal action over 'rip-off' pricing

PlayStation gamer Credit: PA

Millions of Sony PlayStation customers in the UK could claim a share of up to £5 billion in damages if a new legal claim filed against the gaming giant for "rip-off" pricing on digital games is successful.

A collective action brought against the company at the Competition Appeal Tribunal accuses it of overpriced digital games and in-game purchases.

Led by consumer rights champion Alex Neill, the claim accuses Sony of abusing its market-dominant position to impose unfair terms and conditions on game developers and publishers.

Unfair terms and conditions include charging a 30% commission on every digital game or in-game purchase made through the online PlayStation Store, the legal claim says.

The claimants say these unfair terms have driven up prices for consumers and resulted in customers being overcharged for digital gaming purchases by up to £5 billion over the last six years.

Nearly nine million UK customers could be eligible for damages, it says, and applies to anyone who has purchased digital games or add-on content on their console or through the PlayStation Store since 19 August, 2016.

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The estimated damages per individual in the claim is said to be between £67 and £562.

“The game is up for Sony PlayStation,” Ms Neill said.

“With this legal action, I am standing up for the millions of UK people who have been unwittingly overcharged. We believe Sony has abused its position and ripped off its customers."

“The actions of Sony are costing millions of people who can’t afford it, particularly when we’re in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and the consumer purse is being squeezed like never before.”

Sony PlayStation has been contacted for comment.