A new report unleashed by the US Congress suggests Sony has an unfair stake in the Japanese console market and utilizes ‘anti-competitive conduct.’
A detailed report from Axios outlines a new allegation in the Microsoft Activision purchase dispute. This time, however, there are allegations against Sony of “anti-competitive conduct” in the Japanese high-end console market. One of the letters, signed by four Republicans from the House, including Carol Miller and Mike Carey, states, “Today, we write to bring to your attention the imbalanced Japanese video game market, which we are concerned may be a result of a discriminatory trade practice that could violate the spirit of the U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement.”
The remarks become even more scathing from the open Congress letters when they allege Japan ‘turns the other cheek’ when it comes to Sony, with “The Japanese government’s effective policy of non-prosecution when it comes to Sony appears to be a serious barrier to U.S. exports, with real impacts for Microsoft and the many U.S. game developers and publishers that sell globally but see their earnings in Japan depressed by these practices,” in their letters.
While the allegation letters continue, the report lists reasons such as Final Fantasy XVI being billed as a PlayStation exclusive with no Xbox release in sight as another piece of evidence to support their claims. Of course, Microsoft Spokesperson David Cuddy said, “Sony’s anti-competitive tactics deserve discussion, and we welcome further investigation to ensure a level playing field in the video game industry,” in regards to the report.
It’s worth mentioning the report suggests, “While Microsoft isn’t saying just how involved it was in orchestrating this push, its government affairs team has discussed these issues with members of Congress” as far as Microsoft’s hand in this investigation goes. As of this posting, Sony reps haven’t spoken on this issue yet, but U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai promised they’d look into it further.