Recently, Valve was fined over EUR1.6 million for region-locking its PC games. The company said it would appeal the decision, but not before being fined for not cooperating with the Commission. Valve is not the only one affected by the fine. Focus Home Interactive, one of the biggest publishers of games, was also fined.
Valve pc 7.8m eu digital single region-locking
Valve and five other publishers were recently fined by the European Commission for violating EU competition rules by geo-blocking PC games. The games had region-locked keys that were only able to be activated within specific EU countries. The EU Digital Single Market bans such practices.
The European Commission’s investigation was prompted by reports of region-locking in the PC gaming market. Valve stopped region-locking in the EU in 2015, and only allowed it within EU member states. However, four other publishers are still limiting cross-border sales.
Valve, one of five PC video game publishers, has said it will appeal the European Commission’s decision. It says it cooperated with the EC and provided evidence, but does not agree with their findings. The company also says that it disagrees with the fine imposed by the EU.
Valve’s EC fine was based on the number of complaints received over the last 90 days. The company reported 75,000 customer support requests per day, with refund requests accounting for the largest proportion. It also says it can fix account security issues within hours.
Valve fined over EUR1.6 million for not cooperating with Commission
In a recent decision, the European Commission fined Valve and five other publishers over antitrust violations. The Commission alleged that these companies were engaging in unlawful geo-blocking practices and preventing consumers from accessing cheaper games in other countries. Valve owns the popular online PC gaming website Steam and received a fine of over EUR1.6 million.
The Commission cited Article 101 of the TFEU and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area as legal grounds for its decision. The Commission also said that the practice of geo-blocking is illegal and violated the rules governing the EU’s Digital Single Market.
The Commission found that Valve’s practices of geo-blocking prevented European consumers from playing PC games in countries other than their own. This deprived European consumers of the benefits of the Digital Single Market. The Commission ordered Valve to stop its practices. Valve agreed to the terms of the fine, including the removal of geo-blocking.
Valve had been limiting unsolicited customer sales, also known as passive sales, in several EU countries. This allegedly undermined the Digital Single Market’s objective of encouraging consumers to shop around. However, the fine did not specify whether Valve had any defenses based on its bilateral agreements with resellers. In the coming months, Valve will have to publish its reasoning for the fine.
Valve says it plans to appeal the decision
Valve has announced it plans to appeal the decision against it. The company is allowed three months to make changes to its policies. The ruling is considered to be an enormous victory for consumers, especially in the EU. The decision has the potential to have a sweeping effect on the gaming industry. It could change the way games are distributed.
Valve is the only major publisher to not settle with the European Commission. However, the EU has recently reduced the fines against publishers that voluntarily cooperated with the investigation. In Valve’s case, the company was found to have violated EU antitrust rules regarding geoblocking. This practice prevents gamers from buying games from other EU countries.
The court also said that Valve cannot legally retain Steam Wallet funds when a user leaves the platform. Valve has to reimburse the money to users when they request it. In addition, the company has to take responsibility if its software harms users. Valve must also reduce the amount of ownership it claims over user-created content and mods. It will also have to make clearer terms and conditions for denying users access to their Steam library.
The decision is a significant victory for Steam users. Valve’s lawsuit was brought by the UFC-Que Choisir, a consumer group in France, over Valve’s inability to allow its users to resell games. The French consumer rights organization had sued Valve in 2015 over the issue because it prevented users from reselling the games they bought from Steam. The French ruling also says that a company that provides services to millions of people must comply with EU law.
The High Court in Paris found that Valve’s policy preventing users from reselling games violates European Union laws, and ordered it to change its policies. The company must comply with this ruling or face large fines.
Focus Home Interactive was most impacted publisher
Valve was among five PC video game publishers fined, along with Focus Home Interactive, ZeniMax, and Bandai Namco. The fines were reduced by 10 to 15 percent for the publishers who cooperated with the anti-piracy authorities. Focus Home Interactive was hit the hardest, with a fine of EUR2.8 million.
The company was one of five major PC video game publishers under investigation by the European Commission, alleging anti-competitive practices. Valve was accused of using geo-blocking practices to prevent users from buying its games outside of specific regions within the European Economic Area (EEA), including Poland, Romania, and Estonia. This practice violated EU anti-trust laws and harmed consumers. As a result, Valve is facing possible sanctions from other EU member states.
ZeniMax, Koch Media
In the latest fine-and-shame involving the PC game industry, the EU ruled that Valve, Focus Home Interactive, and Koch Media owed nearly EUR7.8 million in unpaid taxes. Those companies were given a 10% to 15% reduction in the fines if they complied with the ruling. Valve, however, decided not to cooperate and was fined EUR1,624,000.
The fine was imposed on Valve, which owns the Steam gaming platform and distributes over 35,000 games. The fine arose after Valve and its partners were found to have breached EU antitrust laws by restricting cross-border sales of their PC games based on geo-location. This is a practice known as ‘geo-blocking’ and involves blocking users from accessing certain sites and services in a specific region.