Sony have received a 2 million euros fine for lack of information and misleading details on PS Plus subscription and multiplayer on PlayStation 4. The Italian Antitrust found that Sony didn't offer enough info on the additional costs.
The Japanese giant failed to inform consumers about the costs of PlayStation Plus subscription, which is required for online multiplayer. Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) investigation pointed out that on the PlayStation 4 console packaging, details about PlayStation Plus requirement have been printed in the centre of the fine print. This makes it hard for consumers to discern and AGCM argues that this type of detail should be clearly visible.
Sony also didn't include any info on the front of the box which would warn the consumers about any additional costs. AGCM's investigation also found that there is a lack of info on PlayStation Plus when buying a game on the PS Store.
The Italian Antitrust states that Sony violated two articles of the consumer code, highlighting that they have done this since the launch of PlayStation 4 back in 2013.
Sony will have to pay the 2 million euros fine within thirty days from the notice and should they fail to do so, they'll have to pay arrear interests as well. But what's even more important, they will have ninety days to include a clear message on PlayStation 4's packaging, which must say that customers have to pay PlayStation Plus subscription to access online multiplayer.
Sony will have sixty days from the sanction's notice to appeal to the Administrative Tribunal of Lazio and if they fail to comply and keep the current packaging, they could face additional fines which can grow up to 5 million euros. And if they continue with their practice after more fines, the Italian Competition Authority could even order the suspension of business activities for up to thirty days.
Of course, it's unlikely Sony will let this happen, especially knowing that the 2 million fine is just a drop in the ocean for such a huge company like Sony. The only thing they could be concerned about though is the attention from other countries' regulatory bodies.
You can check the AGCM weekly bulleting which includes Sony related info on the AGCM official website.