Sony fined $14 million for damaging third-party PlayStation controllers
Sony has been fined almost $14 million for damaging third-party PlayStation controllers.
The tech giant behind the multi-million selling gaming console has come under fire from French regulator Autorité de la Concurrence, which claims that one software update to PS4s in 2015 would cause unofficial controllers to "regularly disconnect" and therefore limit the success of the competition.
However, according to reports, Sony is yet to respond to the accusations.
According to Autorité de la Concurrence: The Authority notes that by refusing to communicate to manufacturers who requested them the criteria for access to the OLP program, Sony was able to apply them in a discretionary manner, even though access to the latter was the only means of [avoiding] disconnections."
The regulator also accused Sony of employing an "opaque licensing policy" that stopped other companies from joining a partnership programme, which would hae ben the only way to acquire a licence for production of third-party accessories.
They added: "Second, an opaque licensing policy, which in several cases prevented rival companies that wanted to market PS4-compatible controllers from joining the OLP partnership programme, which is the only way for third parties to obtain an official licence and unique identification numbers. The Autorité found that by refusing to communicate the OLP access criteria to manufacturers who requested them, Sony applied the criteria in a discretionary manner, even though access to the programme was the only way to avoid disconnections.
"The Autorité considers that the combination of these two practices significantly damaged the brand image of the third-party manufacturers affected, with regard to both players and distributors, slowing down their expansion in the market and leading to their possible foreclosure.
The fine, amounting to €13,527,000, is imposed jointly and severally on three subsidiaries and the parent company of the Sony group."