Valve is pushing back against the European Union’s (EU) charges made against it. The charges allege that Valve practices regional pricing and geo-blocking, preventing its consumers from purchasing specific titles depending on their country of residence.
For context, both Valve and video game publishers Valve, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax were charged by the EU Commission for geo-blocking practices back in 2017. Today, it is reported that the same five video game companies have agreed to settle with the EU, leaving Valve as the only one left to challenge the EU’s charges.
Initially, both Valve and the five publishers agreed on using geo-blocking on game activation keys in an effort prevent consumers in one EU country from buy cheaper versions of a game in another EU country, such as Estonia and Hungary. Unfortunately, that practice reportedly goes against the Digital Single Market rules, enforcing common pricing and availability for digital products across the EU market.
Under EU Anti-trust law, it is ruled out that companies who admit their wrongdoings in return will get a 10% cut of their fines. As for Valve, however, if the company loses the challenge, the EU Commission will instead impose a 10% of Valve’s annual revenue.
At the time of writing, Reuters had tried to reach out to both the game publishers and EU Commission for more information but did not receive any further comments. Bandai Namco said that they could not provide any information until the Commission decides on the charges.