Sony's market control in Japan worries US Congress
Members of the US Congress are not happy with Sony's dominance in the Japanese gaming market as they think the company is unfairly hurting American companies like Xbox.
As reported by Politico, 11 members of the US Congress pushed Biden to take action against Sony due to its current "monopoly" on Japan's gaming market. During a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Senator Maria Cantwell said that Sony is engaging in "blatant anti-competitive conduct." She also called the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to "investigate these exclusionary conducts."
"I'm told that Sony controls a monopoly of 98% of the high-end game market, yet Japan's government has allowed Sony to engage in blatant anti-competitive conduct through exclusive deals and payments to game publishers," said Cantwell.
Cantwell further asked Tai, "So what do you think we can do to [better] address these issues and create a level playing field with the [Indo-Pacific Economic Framework] on something as important as this issue?"
Katherine Tai didn't specify Sony but said that IPEF, an economic initiative that includes Japan and 12 others countries in the region, is expected to address both competition and digital issues.
PlayStation is the Japanese gaming market's sole leader when compared to Xbox. The Republicans and Democrats think immediate action must be taken, and both sides have sent letters to Tai and commerce secretary Gina Raimondo in response to Cantwell's comments, says Axios.
Republicans and Democrats have sent letters to Tai
"The Japanese government's effective policy of non-prosecution when it comes to Sony appears to be a serious barrier to US exports, with real impacts for Microsoft and the many US game developers and publishers that sell globally but see their earnings in Japan depressed by these practices." The letter from Democrats reportedly reads similarly," says the letter of Republicans. The Democrats have also sent out a similar letter.
In the meantime, another case between Sony and Microsoft has been taken to court recently regarding Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Sony thinks the company might cause harm by withholding Call of Duty from PlayStation and profit by making the game enthusiasts turn their attention to Xbox.Advertisement