The European Commission (EC) fined this Wednesday Valve, owner of the Steam game distribution platform, and five video game developers (Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax) in a figure that exceeds 9 million dollars, for prevent users from accessing your content in a different country to your residence.
Valve and game publishers in particular restricted the sales of certain PC video games based on the geographic location of users, what is known as “geo-blocking” practices.
Brussels explained in a statement that in the case of five editors the fine was reduced to $ 7.2 million because they have cooperated with the Commission, while Valve, which decided not to cooperate, was fined more than 1.6 million euros.
The European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, said today that more than 50% of Europeans between 6 and 64 years old play video games and that the European industry in this field is going “from strength to strength” and weighs more than 17,000 millions of euros.
The Steam platform, owned by Valve, from where you can buy PC games.
“The sanctions adopted today against the ‘geographic blocking’ practices of Valve and the five video game publishers recall that under EU competition law, companies are prohibited from contractually restricting cross-border sales,” he said.
Such practices, he added, deprive EU consumers of the advantages of the EU’s digital single market and the possibility of comparing prices to find the best offer for them, “added Vestager.
Valve, through Steam, digitally distributes PC video games from the five developers affected by the Community Executive’s investigation. At the same time, it provides activation codes for those products.
Users need these keys to play a series of PC video games that they have purchased on channels other than Steam, for example, purchased in physical format.
After purchasing video games, users need confirm your activation code on Steam to confirm that the copy has not been pirated and to be able to play.
In April 2019, the Commission accused Valve and the five developers of closing bilateral agreements to prevent consumers from buying or using video games from a country other than the one in which they reside, which violates the rules of the European Union (EU) on competition.
With information from EFE