The Italian Antitrust has issued a fine for Sony Interactive Entertainment of two million euros to carry out unfair business practices related to the sale of PlayStation 4 in Europe. Sony has been given thirty days to pay.
So, what's the problem? Well, that seems to have something to do with PS4 game boxes. According to the Italian Antitrust, there is a lack of clear information about the PS4 game box about whether PlayStation Plus subscriptions are needed or not to play.
Italy Antitrust has accused this number of being consumer misdirection, and has affected a large number of buyers who have purchased consoles since it was released in 2013.
As they did in North America, the PS4 box in Europe does mention whether a game requires a PlayStation Plus subscription or not, it's just a little tucked behind the box. So, it seems that beef is not mentioned clearly enough in the box.
This may seem hard, but hopefully it will lead to a clearer indication of what a product needs. Buy a game only to find out that you can't play it because you don't subscribe to a stinking service, and Sony will help consumers avoid this, not use it.
Of course, it is unlikely that this will flow into the North American market, which has a far more loose, good or bad consumer protection policy.
However, if Sony does not fix the problem, failure to comply can result in additional fines ranging between 10,000 euros and five million euros. Furthermore, temporary suspension of business activities can be carried out on repeated failures, although it may not reach that point.
Of course, Sony can also choose to appeal the decision at any time in the next sixty days. Two million is not much for Sony – although changes to box production will add to costs – but that doesn't mean it will just give up without first exploring whether it's wrong or not.
As always, don't hesitate to leave a comment letting us know what you think. Should Sony advertise the requirements (or absence) of PlayStation Plus subscriptions on PS4 games more clearly? Or is it up to consumers to know what they bought before buying it?
Thank you, GamingBolt.