Connect with us

Business

Sony is Being Sued Over PlayStation’s Digital Store “Monopoly”

Jesse Hoyt

Published

on

We may earn a small commission when you click or purchase an item using a link on this website.


Sony has had a busy week defending itself from claims of unfair business practices and unwillingness to work with other companies like Epic. The newest of Sony’s problems is a class-action lawsuit against them for having an illegal monopoly with its digital store. This lawsuit came on Wednesday in a California court. The claim was that PlayStation blocking users from buying third-party download codes is in violation of antitrust laws and competition laws. 

Players were initially allowed to purchase these third-party codes from various companies like GameStop and Amazon. In 2019 a memo was leaked that confirmed PlayStation users would only be able to purchase PlayStation games from their own digital storefront. This is the basis of the claim that Sony has created a monopoly. 


This exacerbates an existing issue with digital purchases being considerably more expensive than physical copies of games. We’ve seen a similar scenario with Call of Duty games remaining at the same $60 it was at launch on Steam when physical copies can be purchased for less than half the price. Sony’s “monopoly” allows them to retain absolute control over the price of digital games, essentially eliminate any digital competition, and take a larger cut of revenue by way of overcharging for games. Sony made $17 billion from digital content on PlayStation Network alone, so it’s pretty obvious why they want to corner the market like this. What do Sony’s actions mean for players? It means that games are going to maintain high prices (except during sales) and will almost certainly be charged more than a game is supposed to be. This isn’t too surprising based on Sony’s past behavior especially with things like cross-platform gameplay. They’ve been extraordinarily opposed to crossplay, citing that it would interfere with revenue streams for PlayStation.

This lawsuit comes hot on the heels of another high-profile gaming-related case involving Apple, Google, Epic Games, and violation of antitrust laws. Epic had implemented its own payment system for Fortnite on mobile. They claimed that Apple and Google were also creating illegal monopolies since they were using their payments were required to go through their respective services instead of purchasing directly from Epic. This is identical to the lawsuit currently happening with Sony. The Epic vs Apple case hasn’t concluded yet and neither has the class-action lawsuit against Sony so the potential results still seem unclear, but history tells us that this will be an uphill battle for both Epics Games and Sony. Antitrust cases have been notoriously difficult and typically sway in favor of large corporations. We can ask for a favorable outcome but don’t get your hopes up just yet.

After turning away from professional cooking, I refocused my efforts on something I love: writing. I can’t get enough of it. Copywriting, content writing, novels? Count me in. I have quite an array of writing interests, but right now I’m loving gaming and virtual reality, and I can’t wait to do more.

Business

SEC Arrives at Settlement with First American Financial Two Years After Breach of Data

Tara Ragone

Published

on

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pressed charges against First American Financial, a real estate company, for failing to abide by disclosure requirements and procedures. The acts of non-compliance came after personal identifying customer information was breached in 2019, including social security numbers and financial data. First American was found to be liable for having immense vulnerabilities in their cybersecurity management, rendering them in violation of Rule 13a-15(a) of the Exchange Act

Shockingly, First American’s information security team discovered said vulnerabilities months in advance of senior management’s response to the incident, but they did not comply with company policies by advising their superiors about it. First American initially learned of the mishap, which consisted of at least 800 million images being revealed unintentionally, when a cybersecurity journalist contacted them with the unfortunate news. Despite First American rapidly issuing a statement once leadership learned of the incident, they were penalized for the overall poor structure of compliance regarding security of their electronic data.


The severity of this incident was emphasized through statements reiterating that all of the confidential information accidentally leaked was within reach of anyone who had access to the internet. Furthermore, the company’s reputation took another huge blow when they were confronted with accusations of failing to implement a sufficient cybersecurity system by the New York State Department of Financial Services’ Cybersecurity Regulation in July of 2020.

Although First American did not outright admit to any wrongdoing, they accepted a cease and desist order and settled their mistakes by paying a $487,616 fine. First American expressed gratitude for the resolution that was reached, and they asserted that complying with disclosure mandates set forth by the SEC will continue to be a priority for them. The penalty imposed on First American for their faults is sure to set an example for their industry, especially considering they hold 21.07% of the market share and are one of four top mortgage title companies.

Continue Reading

Business

Hackers Breach McDonald’s Data Internationally

Tara Ragone

Published

on

McDonald’s is the newest high profile business fractured by a widespread data breach. This time hackers stole private information originating in the US, South Korea, and Taiwan, but operations were not at all stalled by the incident. It is said that no financial information was touched in the US, but that the actors were able to access customer specific information in South Korea and Taiwan. Similar to findings in the recent EA hack, McDonald’s asserts this was not a ransomware attack, but rather consisted of store related data being stolen. 

When McDonald’s noticed their internal security system was experiencing an unauthorized action, they called on specialists to investigate. Upon realization of what was going on, the attempts by hackers to commit theft were put to an end pretty quickly. Some of the exact content that was accessed includes employee and franchise contact information, seating capacities, and the measurement of square footage in play areas. 


McDonald’s employees were advised shortly after the breach to remain vigilant of potential phishing emails and to be cautious about revealing information when it is requested. As for the countries where customer data was reached, regulators were consulted on the matter and they plan to notify all affected customers and even employees. South Africa and Russia are additional countries that investigators discovered to be possible targets as well, so they received a courteous warning about it. 

Expansive companies, whether critical infrastructure or just in existence for their popular products, are being repeatedly targeted by cyber criminals. McDonald’s is another example as to why all businesses need to have productive cybersecurity safeguards in place before they are taken aback by a cyber crime. McDonald’s did, however, claim to have been able to respond so quickly due to the security measures they already had incorporated into their operative procedures over the course of several years.

Continue Reading

Business

The FTC Says MoviePass Tried to Prevent Users From Actually Seeing Movies

Brandon Marcus

Published

on

The disgraced movie ticket subscription service MoviePass is looking worse than it already did thanks to the FTC. That’s because a new complaint from the Federal Trade Commission states that the now-shuttered business did practically everything in its power to actually prevent users from doing the very thing it promoted and promised: seeing movies for an impossibly low cost.

The complaint, released Monday, states that MoviePass invalidated about 75,000 user passwords and then falsely claimed it detected fraud in those accounts. This action locked the users out of their accounts because the password resetting process often failed. Furthermore, it would often take weeks to get a response or email from the company. 


Additionally, the FTC claims that MoviePass created a faulty “ticket verification program” that didn’t work like it should have and then blocked thousands of others users from using the service. Worst of all, the business created hidden “trip wires” in the system that would block those who saw more than three movies a month from using MoviePass. 

All of these deceptive actions occurred at a time when the business was hemorrhaging money and was quickly sinking like a stone after promising subscribers they could see an unlimited amount of films in theaters for just $9.95 a month. The company, which started in 2011 with much fanfare and excitement from movie fans, quickly devolved into a virtual quagmire after millions of users complained about limited access, rising fees, and functionality issues.

The revelations leveled by the FTC come as part of a settlement between the agency and MoviePass’s parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics. The terms of the settlement state that any future businesses controlled by MoviePass executives Mitchell Lowe and Theodore Farnsworth must use information security programs. 

Daniel Kaufman, the FTC’s acting director of Bureau of Consumer Protection said in a statement that “MoviePass and its executives went to great lengths to deny consumers access to the service they paid for.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Sign Up For The Latest Bite Sized Tech News


Trending

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x