XBOX, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation are being probed over fears their fees rip off gamers.
The Competition and Markets Authority is investigating whether the console makers’ business practices are legal.
Alamy Console makers Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox are being probed over fears that their auto-renewal terms are unfairly hammering gamers
It will focus on auto-renewals for online gaming contracts, cancellation and refund policies plus terms and conditions.
Console users often pay for online services such as competing against rivals, communicating with other players, extra games and discounts.
This can involve a annual membership, such as £39.99 for Xbox Live Gold or £49.99 for PlayStation Plus, which is often entered into on an auto-renewal basis.
It means money is automatically taken from users. The CMA has asked the firms for information about gaming contracts to help “better understand their practices”.
Getty The Competition and Markets Authority said that its consumer law investigation will seek to determine if the business practices are legal
The watchdog is also calling on customers who use these services to get in touch with it and share their experiences to assist the investigation.
The probe will seek to determine whether the contract terms are unfair, whether it is too difficult to cancel or obtain a refund and if the auto-renewal process is transparent.
CMA boss Andrea Coscelli says ‘rollover contracts are becoming more commonplace and it’s essential they work well for customers’
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If the CMA finds that the firms have broken consumer protection law it could take enforcement action.
Watchdog boss Andrea Coscelli said: “Rollover contracts are becoming more commonplace and it’s essential they work well for customers.
“Our investigation will look into whether the biggest gaming companies are being fair.”
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