The European Commission considered that Valve’s actions to link games to regions violate the antitrust legislation of the European Union. Together with her, five other publishers were fined for a total of almost €8 million. Valve plans to challenge the injunction.The fine was imposed based on the results of an investigation that began seven years ago.
In its course, the European Commission found out that Valve sold games on Steam with a regional link in Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Baltic countries.
In the investigation, we are talking about 100 PC games, the key for which could not be activated on the territory of other EU countries. According to the authorities, such actions violate antimonopoly legislation, since the EU economic space should be unified and free for all participating countries.
Together with Valve, five other publishers were fined for a total of €7.8 million:
- Valve — €1.6 million;Bandai Namco — €340 thousand;
- Capcom — €396 thousand;
- Focus Home — €2.88 million;
- Koch Media — €977 thousand;
- ZeniMax — €1.66 million.
- The European Commission has reduced the fine by 10-15% for all publishers who have agreed to cooperate.
The only company that refused to cooperate with the authorities was Valve.
Later, the company commented on the situation to Eurogamer. Valve stated that it had been cooperating with the European Commission for seven years and had provided it with all the necessary evidence and information. The company also noted that it lifted the regional block in the EU back in 2015 and left it only for individual cases — for example, to comply with legislation in certain countries or in case of restrictions on sales by the publisher.
Valve refused to recognize the decision of the European Commission in violation of the law and intends to challenge it. Other fined companies have not yet responded to the situation.