European Union Fines Valve, Capcom And Bethesda $ 9.4 Million For “Geo Blocking”

The European Commission has fined Valve, Capcom, Bandai Namco, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax a total of 7.8 million euros (about 9.4 million US dollars) for practicing “geographic embargoes”, which the commission says breaches EU antitrust rules. Geo-blocking is the practice in which the holder of a platform like Steam forces users in one country to pay the specified price for the video game only for that country, rather than allowing them to purchase the game elsewhere within Europe where it may be cheaper.

In a press release, the European Commission said the PC platform Steam and five previously listed publishers have restricted cross-border sales of PC games based on geographic location with the European Economic Area (EEA).The five publishers agreed to cooperate with the Commission and saw a reduced fine, while Valve “chose not to cooperate” and was fined more than € 1.6 million (~ $ 1.9 million).

Deputy CEO Margareth Vesteger said today’s sanctions against Valve’s “geoblock” practices and five PC video game publishers are a reminder that under EU competition law companies are contractually prohibited from restricting cross-border sales. statement On today’s fines.

“Such practices deprive European consumers of the advantages of the European Union’s single digital marketplace and the opportunity to shop for the most suitable offer in the European Union.”

Valve was previously fined A $ 3 million by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in 2016 for what the country says are “false or misleading allegations under Australian Consumer Law” with Valve’s refund policies.

At the time, Steam didn’t have a recovery system, but it did introduce one in 2015.

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Matt TM Kim is a reporter for IGN.

Alexis Wells

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