Competition and Markets Authority investigates Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo's online gaming subscriptions

Competition and Markets Authority investigates Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo's online gaming subscriptions

Competition and Markets Authority investigates Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo's online gaming subscriptions

The investigation focuses on the companies' online subscription plans, particularly how they handle auto-renewals and refunds.

Headed by the United Kingdom government's Competitions and Markets Authority, the investigation is focused on discovering whether or not the three company's are committing unfair practices with their online services.

The CMA will be investigating services like the PSN, PlayStation Now, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live, and others to determine if they break any consumer protection laws.

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are now being investigated to ensure that they're not in breach of United Kingdom consumer law when it comes to the auto-renewal terms of their online subscription services, as well as their Ts & Cs, and cancellation and refund policies. It's also looking into their cancellation and refund policies and their terms and conditions.

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Auto-renewals are commonplace with just about any subscription service, but under United Kingdom consumer protection laws businesses must ensure their contracts are fair to their customers. Instead, they are seeking feedback from United Kingdom customers of the big three gaming companies, as well as conducting their own investigation. Finally, the CMA would like to figure out if the overall auto-renewal process is fair and want to know whether consumers are "clearly told that their membership will be rolled over, regularly reminded that they are on a roll-over contract before further payments are taken, and [if] auto-renewal [is] set as the default option".

According to the CMA's announcement of the investigation, it will try to answer some questions to "help better understand their practices" in terms of their online gaming services.

"Should we find that the firms aren't treating people fairly under consumer protection law, we are fully prepared to take action".

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