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Sony censured for fair-trade violation

Shouldn't have restricted sale of PlayStation games

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Sony's bottom was smacked today by Japan's Fair Trade Commission for breaking the country's trading regulations.

The FTC censured Sony for forcing retailers to stick to Sony-approved prices and to buy product through Sony-approved distributors. The consumer electronics giant also tried to stop distributors selling direct to the public and retailers from selling to other retailers.

The FTC asked Sony to behave, and Sony said it would.

Not, like a guilty schoolboy, that it didn't try to wiggle out of it. "We respect the FTC's stance and will make sure that our policy of not setting resale conditions on wholesalers for PlayStation hardware and software is observed," the company said in a statement.

In other words, it wasn't Sony that was in the wrong, but others who flouted its "policy of not setting resale conditions". It wasn't me, sir, he made me do it. ®

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