Sony faces antitrust probe in Romania over PlayStation’s market dominance

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Sony, the console giant, is currently under investigation by Romania’s competition watchdog, the Romanian Competition Council, due to concerns of abusing its dominant position in the console market. The investigation revolves around Sony’s practice of exclusively selling digital games through the PlayStation Store and prohibiting third parties from selling activation codes.

Sony faces antitrust probe in Romania over PlayStation's market dominance

According to a press release shared on ResetEra, the Romanian Competition Council states, “The competition authority has indications that Sony may have abused its dominant position in the video game console market both by selling online video games compatible with PlayStation consoles exclusively through the PlayStation Store platform and by prohibiting the sale of game activation codes video compatible with PlayStation consoles by competing distributors.”

The council argues that these actions have limited purchasing options for PlayStation games, leading to higher prices for titles on Sony’s consoles. Moreover, it highlights the potential deterrent effect on Romanian studios, discouraging them from developing video games compatible with PlayStation.

As part of the investigation, the Competition Council has conducted inspections at Sony’s offices in Europe to gather evidence and information related to the alleged anti-competitive behavior. Sony has yet to issue an official statement in response to the investigation. However, gamers remain hopeful that if Sony is found to be in violation of competition rules, it could result in PlayStation games being available at lower prices through activation codes from third-party sellers.

Some ResetEra users express their views on the matter, with one stating, “Hey, if this somehow could lead to cheaper PS5 keys from third-party sites, I’m all for it.” However, they also acknowledge the challenges, mentioning, “It probably won’t amount to much since it would affect beasts much bigger than Sony.” Another user emphasizes the need to address the lack of alternatives to platform holders’ online stores, stating, “If we ever get a full digital future, this is something that absolutely needs to be addressed, and this probe seems like a good starting point.”