US Justice Department Investigating Sony’s Possible Anime Monopoly

Sony and Crunchyroll

The US Justice Department is investigating Sony’s purchase of the anime streaming service, Crunchyroll, and the implications of $1.175 billion purchase. The purchase of Crunchyroll has officially made Sony the worldwide leader for distributing anime. The company already owns Antiplex, Funimation, and many other international anime companies they purchased in Europe and Australia. With so many anime distributors being owned by Sony, it would mean Sony would have a monopoly over anime. 

Crunchyroll is not only an anime distributor and streaming service, it also does manga publications and anime conventions. The US Justice Department is afraid that this would give Sony control over the entire industry.

Crunchyroll and Funimation are the two of the biggest anime streaming services outside of Japan. While services like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO Max have been trying to compete with the two companies, Sony’s ownership of both Crunchyroll and Funimation would make direct competition difficult. 

Works Cited

Campbell, Ian Carlos. “The Justice Department Is Worried about an Anime Monopoly after the Sony Deal.” The Verge, The Verge, 25 Mar. 2021, https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/24/22349203/doj-crunchyroll-investigation-sony-att 

“US Department of Justice Launches Investigation Into Sony’s Purchase of Crunchyroll.” Epicstream, https://epicstream.com/news/L.B.Bryant/US-Department-of-Justice-Launches-Investigation-Into-Sonys-Purchase-of-Crunchyroll