The European Commission has fined five of the world’s leading companies for publishing and selling games for violating antitrust law. The companies concerned are Valve, a company best known for its Steam business, and five publishers, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media and ZeniMax. Together, the companies will pay 203.5 million crowns in fines.
What did the companies do wrong? This is the so-called geo-blocking of products, in this particular case the keys to Steam. Within the European Union, it is forbidden to deny customers the opportunity to buy products from other countries, which is happening on Steam. You can’t buy cheaper keys from elsewhere in the normal way through the launcher, which is a violation of antitrust law.
Margrethe Vestager, politician and executive vice-president of the European Commission, has spoken out expressed as follows: “More than 50% of Europeans play video games. The European video game industry is thriving and now worth over € 17 billion. Today’s sanctions against the geo-blocking practices of Valve and five other PC game publishers will serve as a reminder that companies are prohibited from contracting to prevent cross-border sales under European Union competition law. Such practices deprive European consumers of the benefits of the European Union’s digital single market and the opportunity to take advantage of the best deals in the EU. “
With the exception of Valve, all publishers cooperated in the investigation, earning a 10% discount on the fine. Capcom even reached 15%.
The following fines were imposed on individual companies: Bandai Namco will pay 8.87 million crowns, Capcom 10.33 million, Focus Home 75.37 million, Koch Media 25.49 million and ZeniMax will pay 43.43 million crowns.
Because Valve did not cooperate, it did not earn a discount and will pay a full 41.79 million crowns. The company defended itself through Eurogamer, as she allegedly cooperated all the time, only disagreed with her breaking the law. Since 2015, the keys have not been locked for specific regions unless required by local law, and previously the problem concerned only 3% of games on Steam. Valve is therefore appealing and the process is still dragging on…
Source: Games by games.tiscali.cz.
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