In the wake of this week's strong Playstation 3 launch in Japan and North America, Sony is making strides to fight imports of the system into Europe, where the console isn't scheduled to launch until March 2007.
The move by Sony is bolstered by the favorable ruling of a British Court in October against Taiwanese import/export firm Lik-Sang which had been selling PSP systems in Europe. Responding to the decision, a Sony representative had indicated that going into the PS3 lauch, the company would actively pursue importers.
This latest case revolves around a company called Mastercash, which is advertising Playstation 3 systems by Christmas. In a statement to European trade publication MCV, a Sony spokesperson said, "CEE has been made aware of this promotion, and we are investigating it further. We have forwarded the details on to Trading Standards, and urge all consumers to wait until the official European PS3 launch in March."
Listings for the newly launched console on Ebay have soared, with some units selling for more than $4000 and $5000, making the reselling market very attractive despite the corporate attention. Many auctions claim to offer shipping in the US and UK, compounding Sony's complications in keeping the PS3 out of Europe.