Sony is being investigated over concerns it's abusing a "dominant position in the video game console market"

Sony PS5 close up
(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Sony is being investigated by Romania's competition watchdog over concerns it's abusing PlayStation's dominant position in the console market by having digital games available through the PlayStation Store only and banning third parties from selling activation codes.

In a press release, translated and shared on ResetEra, the Romanian Competition Council said, "The competition authority has indications that Sony may have abused its dominant position in the video game console market both by selling online video games compatible with PlayStation consoles exclusively through the PlayStation Store platform and by prohibiting the sale of game activation codes video compatible with PlayStation consoles by competing distributors."

The competition body says these actions "would have reduced the purchasing options" for PlayStation games, resulting in higher prices for titles on Sony's consoles. On top of that, it adds that this could "discourage Romanian studios from developing video games compatible with PlayStation". 

As part of the investigation, the Competition Council has carried out inspections at Sony's offices in Europe to gather evidence and information related to the possible anti-competitive behavior. 

Sony hasn't issued a statement in response to the investigation, but many players are hopeful that should the company be found to be in breach of competition rules, it could lead to PlayStation games being available for less through activation codes from third-party sellers.

"Hey, if this somehow could lead to cheaper PS5 keys from third-party sites, I'm all for it," says one ResetEra user, while at the same time acknowledging that it "probably won't amount to much since it would affect beasts much bigger than Sony". Another writes, "The lack of alternatives to the platform holders' online stores is a pretty big problem. If we ever get a full digital future, this is something that absolutely needs to be addressed, and this probe seems a good starting point."

Check out our upcoming PS5 games guide for all the best titles set to launch on Sony's new-gen console in the near future. 

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.