Gamer playing Sony PlayStation

Sony loses bid to shut down £5 billion class action claim

UK appeals court has denied Sony’s second bid to challenge a competition lawsuit that accuses it of overcharging 8.9 million UK customers

Sony has lost its latest appeal against the competition court’s decision to give the go-ahead to Alex Neill’s £5 billion compensation lawsuit against the gaming giant.

Neill accuses Sony of overcharging millions of UK PlayStation customers for their digital gaming purchases. The Competition Appeal Tribunal gave the go-ahead in November for Neill’s claim to go to trial

Sony tried to challenge this decision by asking the Tribunal for permission to appeal. Sony said the Tribunal was wrong to say the claim against it had any merit.

The Tribunal denied its request to appeal on the merits of the case. Sony took this to the UK Court of Appeal anyway, which has now also rejected this bid to close down the claim.

Alex Neill, co-founder of Consumer Voice and consumer rights campaigner, said:

‘The Court of Appeal has rightly denied Sony permission to appeal on the grounds of the case. It has supported the previous decision of the Tribunal, and has shown this to be a hopeless appeal. 

‘I now look forward to bringing this claim to trial to seek the redress consumers are owed.’

The Tribunal allowed Sony to appeal in relation to changes in the law around funding.

Sony PlayStation console and games

Sony challenges the funding arrangements

Sony also tried to block the claim by challenging the Tribunal’s decision that the litigation funding arrangements for the case are lawful. 

Litigation funding is where a third party covers all the costs of bringing a case to court in return for a share of the win. No money is owed to the funder if the claim is lost. 

The Government this year reversed a Supreme Court ruling that would have made it harder for claims against big corporations to get financial backing

New legislation is now making its way through parliament that will make it easier for members of the public to secure funding for their legal fights against powerful corporations.

‘The court has put Sony’s appeals surrounding funding arrangements on hold while the government passes its legislation,’ said Neill. 

‘If the new legislation is passed retrospectively – as is the intention – this appeal will also fall away. 

‘Sony’s appeal in this area is opportunistic and has no real chance of succeeding.’

Are you a Sony Playstation customer who could be owed money?

‘This is the end of the road for Sony’s appeals on certification and we are now heading to trial,’ Neill said.

‘There is a long road ahead but we are committed to holding Sony to account for ripping off consumers.’

Customers of Sony Playstation could be owed between £67 and £562 if the claim is won.  

You could be owed compensation if you or a member of your family owns or has owned a PS4 or a PS5 anytime between 19 August 2016 to 19 August 2022.  

Sign up to Consumer Voice or via the Playstation claim website to be kept informed as the case progresses.

We contacted Sony UK for a comment.

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