In a press release, the European Commission says PC platform Steam and the five previously listed publishers restricted cross-border sales of PC games based on geographical location with the European Economic Area (EEA).The five publishers have agreed to cooperate with the Commission and saw a reduced fine, whereas Valve “chose not to cooperate” and was fined over €1.6 million (~ USD 1.9 million).
Today’s sanctions against the ‘geo-blocking’ practices of Valve and five PC video game publishers serve as a reminder that under EU competition law, companies are prohibited from contractually restricting cross-border sales,” executive vice president Margrethe Vestager said in a statement on today’s fines.
“Such practices deprive European consumers of the benefits of the EU Digital Single Market and the opportunity to shop around for the most suitable offer in the EU.”
Valve was previously fined AUD 3 million by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in 2016 over what the country says was “false or misleading representations under the Australian Consumer Law” with Valve’s refund policies.
At the time Steam did not have a refund system but introduced one in 2015.
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.