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Sony PlayStation is being sued for £5 billion in a class
action in the UK over excessive pricing
Sony PlayStation is accused of abusing its dominant position by
overcharging millions of gamers as well as developers and
publishers for six years. It is alleged that Sony made people
overpay for its products and services by charging 30% commission on
each digital game and add-on content sold through Sony’s
console or the PlayStation Store since August 2016. According to
the legal action, damages per individual are estimated to vary
between £67 and £562.
Tidal wave for digital markets in Asia and Oceania
- In line with recent trends, competition authorities throughout
the world are taking the reins in their hands to keep up with the
rapid changes in the digital economy. In a case that reminds us of
Google’s troubles with publishers in France, New
Zealand’s Commerce Commission has decided to allow news
publishers to collectively negotiate with Meta and Google about
displaying news content.
- Meanwhile, Australia’s Competition and Consumer
Commission launched an inquiry concerning social media services,
especially focusing on the supply of said services and advertising
on social media platforms. The Australian authority noted that this
is the sixth instalment of its five-year digital platform services
- In Asia, Korea’s Communications Commission launched an
investigation to determine whether Google, Apple and One Store
violated the law by barring third-party payment providers in their
application marketplaces. The authority will conduct its assessment
to decide if they forced a specific payment method on users.
- The authorities in Korea have not stopped there, as the public
prosecutor raided Naver, an e-commerce platform, with regards to
criminal allegations that it abused its dominance by preventing
real estate information providers from selling data to its main
competitor. It has been noted that Korea’s Fair Trade
Commission (KFTC) fined Naver EUR 776,000 in September 2020 for
including exclusivity clauses in its contracts with real estate
content providers, thus preventing them from working with competing
platforms. KFTC filed a criminal complaint with the public
prosecutors in November 2021 as requested by the Ministry of SMEs
LPG cartel in Brazil
Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense
(CADE) has concluded its investigation regarding allegations of
price fixing and market allocation between LPG distributors. The
investigation into the cartel was initiated by state prosecutors
back in 2009, and CADE launched its investigation in 2016 after
obtaining information that was seized during dawn raids conducted
by the police in 2010. It should be noted that while CADE fined
three companies over EUR 122 million, six other companies had
already reached a settlement with the authority after the
investigation was launched. Furthermore, 11 individuals were
sanctioned by the authority for their role in the cartel.
U.S. DoJ and Bundeskartellamt’s concerns abort $987
million MAERSK deal
Container giant China International Marine Containers has
abandoned its plan to acquire Maersk Container Industry, a
specialist in refrigerated box manufacturing, following the U.S.
Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division’s plan to sue
to block the proposed acquisition. The DoJ, working together with
Germany’s Bundeskartellamt, considers that the deal would
have generated excessive market concentration, potentially leading
to higher prices, lower quality and poorer innovation, as it would
put 90% of the world’s reefer container production in the hands
of Chinese state-controlled enterprises.
WhatsApp may face investigation in India due to its privacy
The Delhi High Court has held that WhatsApp must face a full
abuse of dominance investigation by the Competition Commission of
the instant messaging application. The CCI argued that the new
of consumer data, which may result in the use and sharing of data
in an anti-competitive context. WhatsApp, together with its parent,
Meta, have filed a challenge to dismiss the CCI probe.
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