11 Members of Congress Accuse Sony of Unfair Business Practices

Several American politicians allege that Sony engages in unfair business practices to keep Microsoft out of the Japanese gaming market. The accusations against Sony went public on Thursday during a trade hearing in the US Senate, with members of the House of Representatives also writing two letters encouraging the government to act.

Microsoft has long struggled to get a foothold in the Japanese gaming market. Xbox consoles have never been a big seller in the country, losing out to Sony and Nintendo products. This is traditionally explained as home team advantage favoring Japanese companies. However, others have attributed the Xbox's local unpopularity to Microsoft's unwillingness to engage with the quirks of the Japanese market.

As reported by Axios, 11 members of Congress from both political parties are pressuring the Biden Administration to get involved in Sony and Microsoft's competition over the Japanese gaming market. On Thursday, Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell criticized Sony's control over the Japanese video game market, calling it a "monopoly." Ten members of the House Representatives also sent letters to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, calling on the federal government to take action.

Senator Cantwell raised her concerns to Tai during Thursday's hearing. According to Cantwell, PlayStation accounts for "98% of the high-end game market." The US policymaker says that Sony established this stranglehold through exclusive contracts and payments to publishers, and the corporation's tactics violate Japan's antitrust laws. She also criticized the Japanese government for failing to investigate these tactics. Cantwell then questioned Tai about how the administration would work to create a fairer playing field in the Japanese market. Tai refused to speak on Sony directly but said that the Senator's concerns would be addressed.

Meanwhile, a letter signed by four House Republicans alleged that Japan has a policy of not investigating Sony’s conduct and may be acting in violation of US-Japan trade agreements. Five democratic representatives from Cantwell's state of Washington also penned a letter covering similar ground.

It is unclear precisely what Cantwell means by "high-end game market." However, this category excludes the wildly successful Nintendo Switch, which remains Japan's best-selling modern console despite the PS5's recent explosion in popularity. However, the Switch's technical specifications and 2017 release often lead to its exclusion from the current console generation, which may be what Cantwell is referring to. Still, it is a very misleading way to frame the current state of Japanese gaming.

It's also unclear whether Microsoft has any role in Congress's sudden interest in the Japanese game industry. As Axios notes, these accusations are similar to the ones Sony made against Microsoft regarding its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft lobbyists had also discussed these issues with US lawmakers. However, neither Microsoft nor Sony is willing to comment on the situation.

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Source: https://gamerant.com/sony-us-congress-members-unfair-business-practice-accusation/


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wouldn't be surprised those 11 members of congress are corrupted asf anyways


Oh no that isn't looking good for Sony.

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