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Sony Hit with 13.5 Million Euro Fine for Third-Party Controller Practices

Priyanshu Tiwari  |   Jan 3, 5:37 AM   |   6 min read

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  • Sony was fined 13.5 million Euros by French antitrust for alleged abuse of powers.

  • Accusations against Sony include disrupting the third-party controller market and hindering access to Sony's Open License Program.

  • Sony's parent company and three subsidiaries were penalized; the company has yet to respond to the French Authority's findings.


The year 2023 did not have a happy ending for the Sony PlayStation manufacturer. In December 2023, Autorité de la Concurrence, the French antithrust body, imposed a fine of 13.5 million Euros for abusing its power to hurt the reputation of third-party PlayStation controller manufacturers. According to the claims, Sony pushed a software update in November 2015, which resulted in the third-party controllers' regular disconnections. 


Apart from pushing the software update, Sony is said to have abused its power by not allowing manufacturers to access Sony's Open License Program and refusing to communicate with interested applicants. After investigating the case, the French regulator fined Sony's parent company and three subsidiaries. 


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Sony is Negatively Impacting Third-Party PlayStation Controllers, Fined 13.5 Million Euros 



The French regulators, Autorité de la Concurrence, said Sony decided to tackle the counterfeiting problem by pushing a software update on the PlayStation 4 in November 2015. After the update, the unlicensed PS4 controllers or the third-party controllers faced regular discontinuation, disrupting the PS4 controller market and helping Sony hold the market's monopoly. According to Autorité de la Concurrence, Sony's move was "detrimental" and "caused harm" to the third-party controller manufacturers, resulting in a negative brand image for them.


Amidst the connection issues, manufacturers only hoped to enter Sony's Open License Program to gain an official PlayStation license over the controllers. Sony seemed to have abused its power by refusing to communicate the program access criteria with the interested manufacturers and not allowing them to enter their program. Additionally, Sony impeded its rival companies from joining the PlayStation's licensing program. "Sony applied the criteria in a discretionary manner, even though access to the program was the only way to avoid disconnections," the French Authority stated in their announcement.


According to Autorité de la Concurrence (via TheGamer):


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.


Due to Sony's infraction, the PlayStation controller market was highly disrupted, and the brand image of the third-party controller manufacturers was tarnished. After abusing its powers, Sony ruled the market with its heavily priced first-party controllers. The French Authority has fined the parent company alongside three of its subsidiaries.


  • Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Limited
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. K.K 
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment France
  • Sony Group Corporation


After the French Authority's announcement, Sony has not commented on the Autorité de la Concurrence's findings and the 13.5 million Euros fine. 

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Hola, folks! I am Priyanshu (IGN: d3monviking). Whether it's playing games or writing entertaining articles for you at Gossip.gg, you'll almost always find me at the keyboard.




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