Valve was unable to defend itself against a fine of

Valve was unable to defend itself against a fine of 1.6 million euros for geo-blocking games

Valve Corporation, owner of the digital distribution platform Steam, has lost an appeal to the European Court of Justice over a 1.6 million euro fine imposed by the European Commission for violating EU antitrust rules, the company writes Bloomberg.

    Image source: Steam

Image source: Steam

The European Commission has fined Valve and five other video game manufacturers (Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax) for preventing cross-border sales of PC video games based on users’ geographical location, i.e. through Geoblocking on the Internet European Economic Area. Valve sold games that were tied to specific regions, which meant that users could lose access to the game after changing countries. A similar situation was observed with activation keys.

In total, the fines in this case amounted to 7.8 million euros, of which 1.6 billion euros were attributable to Valve. Unlike other publishers who agreed to cooperate with the investigation and received reduced sentences in return, Valve refused to admit guilt. The company claims that region-locked activation keys only applied to a small number of games and that Steam stopped the practice in 2015, so there are no penalties.

Despite the company’s arguments, the European Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected its appeal and upheld the European Commission’s findings that the companies’ actions “illegally restricted cross-border sales» Games, with the regulator’s decision remaining in force.

About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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