Geoblocks on Steam: Valve and 5 other EU sanctioned video game publishers

Besides Valve, the European Commission has sanctioned the publishers Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and Zenimax. The fine amounts to 7.8 million euros and sanctions anti-competitive geo-blocking practices on the Steam platform.

The European Union has decided to strike hard, the conclusion of three investigations opened by its Commission in 2017 for alleged anti-competitive practices in electronic commerce.

The European Commission has fined Valve, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and Zenimax € 7.8 million for violating antitrust rules, she said in A press release, January 20.

They are accused of an abusive practice of restricting access to certain video games on the PC of players who are members of the European Economic Area (EEA), a practice described as “geo-blocking”.

Single European Market

The European Commission reports the implementation of game activation keys which restricted access to certain countries on the Steam video game platform. These two practices would have taken place between March 2007 and November 2018 according to the European Commission and would have concerned nearly 100 video games of different types.

« Such practices impact European consumers of the benefits of the single European market and the opportunity to trade in search of the most adequate offer in the European Union ”, said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission.

In detail, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and Zenimax have seen their penalties reduced from 10 to 15% of the amount for collaborating with the Commission. Valve refused to cooperate and was fined 1.624 million euros. Despite its collaboration, Focus Home pays the largest share with a fine of 2,888 million euros.

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