The owners of the Steam digital store refused to cooperate with the investigation and are obliged to pay the full amount of the fine.
Companies fined for regional blocking of games on Steam / photo eurogamer.it
The European Commission has fined Valve and five other major game publishers a total of € 7.8 million for violating EU digital single market rules.
As transmitted The Verge, from 2010 to 2015, publishers did not allow residents of European middle-income countries to buy and activate Steam games in those EU countries where they were cheaper – in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
“This practice deprives European consumers of the benefits of the EU’s single digital market and the opportunity to seek the most suitable offer in the EU,” said the head of the European Commission’s competition policy department.
As a result, the European Commission fined the following companies:
- Valve – by 1.6 million euros;
- Focus Home – 2.9 million euros;
- ZeniMax – by 1.6 million euros;
- Koch Media – almost 1 million euros;
- Capcom – for 396 thousand euros;
- Bandai Namco – 340 thousand euros;
It is noted that all publishers cooperated with the investigation, so in the end their fines were reduced by 10-15%. But Valve refused to cooperate and must pay the full amount of the fine.
The European Commission began its investigation in 2017. And in 2019, Valve officially asked to stop the practice of geoblocking. Valve, in turn, stated that activation keys with regional locking are used only in a small number of games. The company also argued that it should not be responsible for the regional blockade, at the request of the game’s publisher.
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Source: Інформаційне Агентство УНІАН by www.unian.ua.
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