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Valve loses appeal against EU antitrust ruling

Steam firm was fined by the European Commission in 2021 for content geo-blocking

The European General Court has dismissed Valve's appeal against the European Commission for infringing EU competition law.

Valve and five PC video game publishers were fined a total of €7.8 million in January 2021 for illegal geo-blocking practices. The five publishers included Focus Home Interactive, ZeniMax, Koch Media, Capcom, and Bandai Namco.

Valve appealed against the decision and the €1.6 million fine, arguing that it could not be held liable for the actions of publishers provided with free geo-blocked Steam keys and that it did not profit from the sales of titles sold by third parties.

As reported by Engadget, Valve also argued that publishers could charge different prices for games in other countries under copyright law.

In response, the EU General Court clarified that this was an infringement of EU competition law, and that copyright law protects rights holder's ability to profit from content by granting licenses in exchange for payment.

"However, it does not guarantee them the opportunity to demand the highest possible remuneration or to engage in conduct such as to lead to artificial price differences between the partitioned national markets," it said.

Valve has just over two months to file another appeal against the €1.6 million fine.

The European Commission launched its inquiry into Valve's geo-blocking practices in March 2015.

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Sophie McEvoy avatar
Sophie McEvoy: Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.
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