Romanian Antitrust Authorities Launch Investigation Into PlayStation Market Dominance
Romanian antitrust authorities have launched an investigation into the market dominance of Sony’s PlayStation brand.
Sony’s PlayStation brand has become the target of an antitrust investigation by the Romanian Competition Council. Concerns have been raised by the latter regarding Sony’s potential abuse of its dominant position in the console gaming market through its PlayStation platform. One specific concern is Sony’s exclusive digital distribution of games solely through the PlayStation Store, which may restrict competition. Another concern involves the company’s practice of prohibiting third-party sellers from offering game keys, further exacerbating its dominance.
In its press release, the Romanian Competition Council states that it has initiated an inquiry into a potential violation of competition regulations by Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Limited and its subsidiaries. The company is under scrutiny for its activities in the video game distribution market for PlayStation consoles.
The competition authority possesses evidence suggesting that Sony may have exploited its dominant position in the video game console market. Two specific practices are under investigation: the exclusive sale of digital games compatible with PlayStation consoles through the PlayStation Store platform and the prohibition of competing distributors from selling activation codes for video games compatible with PlayStation consoles.
According to the Romanian Competition Council, these actions from Sony have potentially limited the availability of PlayStation-compatible games, leading to inflated prices for this console’s games. Additionally, these practices have deterred Romanian game development studios from creating video games compatible with PlayStation.
Publicly available information indicates that Romanian video game enthusiasts show a preference for Sony’s PlayStation brand of consoles. In Romania, there are approximately 1.3 million console game users and 127 game development studios that could be affected by Sony’s potential anti-competitive behavior.
As part of the investigation, the Competition Council has conducted inspections at Sony’s European premises to gather relevant information and evidence. As per the antitrust authority, these inspections are justified by the necessity to acquire all pertinent documents and data essential for a thorough examination of the potential anti-competitive practices. The press release clarifies that such inspections do not prejudge the guilt of the companies involved.