UK Politicians Call For Legislation On Console Scalping

Six British MPs have expressed interest in legislation that would prevent resellers from cashing in on console shortages.

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Over the past months, console resellers have made a fortune due to the ongoing PS5 and Xbox Series X / Series S shortages caused in part due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Now, according to VGC, six lawmakers in the UK are calling for legislation that would prohibit the sale of gaming consoles and computer components at prices that are "greatly above" the MSRP.

Six MPs from the Scottish National Party tabled a motion to call for this move, meaning that it's very much early days for any possible legislation. The motion also says that the resale of goods purchased using automated bots should be made illegal. The MPs compare this potential legislation to already-introduced bills that control the activity of ticket resellers, who must divulge their identity and the exact details of the seat being sold.

Though it's difficult to know how many PS5s and Xboxes have been resold this holiday season, every indication points towards a large volume. An analysis from a data engineer concluded that scalpers made $82 million in sales and $39 million in profit since September from next-gen consoles and high-end computer components, with services like eBay and PayPal taking a cut of around $6.6 million and $2.4 million, respectively. However, the analysis only included US listings, and did not take into account other marketplace sites like Facebook, meaning that the true market is much larger.

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