France Fines Sony for Combating Third-Party PS4 Controllers

The French antitrust authority Autorité de la Concurrence has slapped Sony Interactive Entertainment with a fine for taking measures to combat third-party PS4 controllers. In an attempt to fight off counterfeits, Sony implemented technical measures that negatively affected the functioning of third-party controllers, according to the regulator.

Sony accused of manipulating the market for PS4 controllers in its favor

As reported by Competition Policy International/Pymnts, Autorité de la Concurrence said that Sony’s technical measures made it difficult for third-party manufacturers to compete and the only controllers that functioned properly on the PS4 were either its DualShock 4 or controllers that were officially licensed. All others suffered a number of issues including frequent disconnections.

The regulator further claims that Sony made the process of licensing deliberately vague and cumbersome, leaving third-party manufacturers in the dark. As a result of its findings, Autorité de la Concurrence has fined Sony 13.5 million euros ($14.8 million). The authority also decried the lack of transparency in Sony’s licensing program, alleging that the company “applied the criteria in a discretionary manner, even though access to the program was the only way to avoid disconnections” for third-party manufacturers.

Sony has not responded to the news and it is unclear if it will appeal.

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