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Romanian Anti-Trust Probe Accuses PlayStation of Abusing 'Dominant Position'

Romanian Anti-Trust Probe Accuses PlayStation of Abusing 'Dominant Position' - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 June 2023 / 3,489 Views

The Competition Council of Romania in a press release announced it is investigating Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe for infringing competition rules in the country by abusing its "dominant position" in the video game market.

"The Competition Council has launched an investigation into a possible infringement of the competition rules by Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Limited and its subsidiaries," reads a translation of the press release via ResetEra. Adding this is related to "the video game distribution market for PlayStation consoles."

The investigation states that Sony may have been abusing its market position by prohibiting the sale of game activation codes by competing distributors.

"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," reads the press release.

Romania Accuses PlayStation of Abusing 'Dominant Position' in Video Game Market

"These practices would have reduced the purchasing options for PlayStation-compatible video games, leading to higher prices for video games for this type of console. Another effect of these practices is the discouraging of Romanian studios from developing video games compatible with PlayStation.

"Sony's PlayStation brand consoles are preferred by Romanian gamers, according to public information, in Romania there are approximately 1.3 million console video game users and 127 video game development studios that would be affected by this possible anti-competitive practice of Sony.

"As part of this investigation, the Competition Council carried out inspections at Sony's premises in Europe to gather information and evidence.

"The inspections are justified by the need to obtain all the information and documents necessary to clarify the possible anti-competitive practices analyzed. Doing so does not prejudge the companies' guilt."

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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CosmicSex (on 31 May 2023)

I don't know about this. Thats like saying that Apple has to accept sales made on Google's platform.
There are plenty of companies that sales their products on their own storefronts and not others.
Its like saying GAP is being investigated for not letting customer buy their shirts form competing outlets like Old Navy. Laywers would love this because it would basically allow them to sue everyone.

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DonFerrari (on 31 May 2023)

I found it odd when Sony stopped doing sale of digital codes on retailers, but this is a big ball of nothing and well I don't care about digital as either the games are cheaper physical (used copies are cheaper), and the big discount phases on digital aren't synchro with physical copies so they also wouldn't be with the codes.
But sure if Romania demands Sony start selling the codes to stores and the stores put the prices they want I won't mind, but would the decision demand Sony sell the codes for the stores for cheaper than they sell the game on their digital stores so the stores have margin? Otherwise it won't help any store.
And who are these 127 romanian studios I never heard about?

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scrapking DonFerrari (on 06 June 2023)

And then I'm even further down the line, wondering why anyone buys games (physical OR digital) when subscriptions services keep getting better, and better, and better. I don't buy anything, unless it's digital, and on sale for some crazy price. The last one I purchase cost $1.99 (and that's $1.99 CAD!).

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DonFerrari scrapking (on 07 June 2023)

I still buy mostly physical and most of time on heavy discount/used.

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scrapking DonFerrari (on 07 June 2023)

The last physical games I bought was in late 2011. I went all-digital as soon as I could and never looked back. I've lost, damaged, or misfiled enough discs in my time that I see digital as having more overall value for me. And like you, I only buy games heavily discounted, thanks to game subscription services.

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DonFerrari scrapking (on 07 June 2023)

I can't remember damaging a single game ever since PS3 (being an adult and buying original games). I don't value digital much, but don't have anything against the ones that do, even more when they are cheapskates paying 2 for the games (I have done it a lot as well =p)

  • +1
scrapking DonFerrari (on 07 June 2023)

I think the last game I damaged was for the Dreamcast, so it admittedly has been a while. But some people have kids/roommates/whatever that they can't necessarily trust to treat their discs as well as they do. But when I did still use discs, I didn't enjoy the feeling that I should/must treat them with kid gloves, as opposed to just selecting games from a menu. I've hated that all the way to using vinyl records as a kid. :)

The #1 problem I ran into when I used to have discs was the wrong disc ending up in the wrong box (or opening up the box and there was no disc in there). That's a consequence of my ADHD perhaps. :P

Reselling games doesn't offer me much value as I do like to revisit games years later. Heck, I often buy a game when it's on sale, with the hope/intent of making time to play it later.

The convenience of not swapping discs is significant for me, since my system is behind the TV. And I also find the disc drive is the first thing that wears out (or comes out of alignment) on game consoles as most of the rest is solid state.

I also like the environmental benefit to not creating discs, game packaging, shipping them around the world, etc. It's not like there's no environmental consequence to cloud storage of games, but many disc-based games are 100% cloud storage anyway and the disc is just a dongle. Or they become mostly cloud storage over time as the game gets patched and gets new content post-launch. So with a disc it's a double hit to the environment.

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DonFerrari scrapking (on 12 June 2023)

Oww this I can relate.

I was studying out of home and my brother decided to lend my console (I had bought it) to a neighbor since I wasn't using. And another neighbor for whom I had lent a game and control when he was out for the day his brother picked my control and game and lent to another friend.

About games and cases I'm pretty anal on it so I bitch off whenever I see someone misplacing my games.

I never resell games, but I do buy they used and always at cheaper price than digital with the possibility of loaning =]

My discs are well organized and my system is recheable (but I understand your pain since my TV installation make messing in its back quite painful).

The environment impact have been show to not be very big, but yes I do agree it is bigger than digital. All the games I play I was able to do without patches (but sure I install all of them ) and with myself buying the PS4 versions when upgrades for PS5 are available (so my son can play on the other console) I do a lot of download as well. I would say the first game in a long time I had an issue with playing without update was Yakuza Ishin, the disc version only have Japanese in it, the english is through a patch (lazy job).

  • 0
scrapking DonFerrari (on 12 June 2023)

Loanable games used to matter to me, but all my friends now have Game Pass so we all have mostly the same set of games these days! :)

  • +2
DonFerrari scrapking (on 13 June 2023)

I'm a firm believer of owning my shit =p but yes if your circle of friends mostly play what is on GP there is little reason to buy and loan. My friends still play a lot of content that isn't on sub so I loan and pick quite a few games throughout the year.

  • 0
scrapking DonFerrari (on 14 June 2023)

Interesting point that there's maybe a critical mass required to get people off of buying and onto streaming. Huh. Thought-provoking.

  • +1
Dante9 (on 01 June 2023)

This is a big nothing burger. It seems Bobby Kotick has been calling in favors from all of his shady drinking buddies across the globe.

  • +1
The Fury (on 31 May 2023)

As long as this leads to more competitive pricing and even competitive prices on digital store fronts and via consoles, good. All consoles are guilty of restrictive purchasing of digital games via their shops and fixing prices. At least MS allows other retailers to sell digital codes at a discount. Much harder to get those for PS or Nintendo.

  • 0
Libara (on 31 May 2023)

This should be fun to watch.

  • 0
Azzanation (on 31 May 2023)

Interesting, first 11 US Congressmen investigating Sonys Japanese buisness practices to now Romania in Europe.

  • -3
DonFerrari Azzanation (on 07 June 2023)

Will you comment on the 20M fine MS have to pay?

  • 0
Azzanation DonFerrari (on 07 June 2023)

Wheres the article and i will.

  • 0
DonFerrari Azzanation (on 12 June 2023)

ClassicGamingWizzz would point you to the glaring lack of article on VGC.

  • 0
tslog (on 31 May 2023)

Well deserved . If you want to complain about “‘high end” monopolies & abuse of market position….it’s Sony. But I wouldn’t put it past Xbox or Nintendo to do the exact same thing if they were in a similar position.

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ClassicGamingWizzz (on 31 May 2023)
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