The venerable Hong Kong-based import shop, Lik-Sang, has posted a lengthy, angry "Out of Business Notice" on their website citing multiple Sony lawsuits as the cause for their collapse. Sony originally brought actions against Lik-Sang last August for exporting PSPs to the UK before the release of the console there. Just last week a high court judge in London ruled that the sales were illegal in Europe and blocked them, even though Lik-Sang argued they broke no Hong Kong laws.
Last week, Pascal Clarysse, Marketing Manager of Lik-Sang.com argued, "Fighting multiple lawsuits in different countries at the same time and paying high premiums to expensive lawyers is an overwhelming situation for a small company like Lik Sang. Launching separate court actions with separate claims and different judges is completely unnecessary, except for the fact that it helps reaching one single target: outspend Lik-Sang to death. Pay beyond." Apparently, those lawsuits, and the realization they would be unable to sell Sony products to Europe, was enough to jeopardize the profitability of the shop. In a final lashing out against their extermination, this morning's release even lists several notable European Sony executives who've made "PSP related" purchases from Lik-Sang in the past. Whoops!
Now, before we all grab our trusty -- and narratively convenient -- pitchforks and torches and storm Castle Sony looking for a monster, let's remember that Sony was only protecting what it said it would and what it apparently (according to a London high court judge at least) has a legal right to. Were the "separate court actions with separate claims and different judges" really designed to exterminate one of the internet's most popular gaming import retailers? Perhaps. It's hard to be certain when emotions and business are so tightly interwoven, but we can be certain of one thing: Sony didn't need the negative press this is gonna earn them.
... okay ... go!
[Update: Sony has issued a response to GamesIndustry.biz denying responsibility for closure of the popular online shop, alleging "sour grapes" on Lik-Sang's part. Basically, since they didn't show up to contest the case in London, therefore incurring no costs, and haven't paid the amount awarded to Sony, there is little reason -- save for the anticipated losses due to an inability to sell Sony products to Europe in the future -- that Lik-Sang should have been forced to fold. Something sounds fishy here, but we're not experts in international trade. The rabbit hole goes deeper.]
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in! Seriously, there were dozens.]