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Report: Valve is pushing back against accusations it violated EU trade rules

Report: Valve is pushing back against accusations it violated EU trade rules

August 29, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

Valve is one of six video game companies that have been under investigation for trade practices in the EU and, according to a Reuters report, it is the only of the six that is now pushing back against the accusation it breached anti-trust rules.

The investigation in question has been going on since 2017 when the European Commission started to dig into the e-commerce practices of several prominent game companies it believed were in violation of EU competition rules.

In short, the commission was concerned companies were breaking rules set up to avoid restrictions on parallel trade in European Union member states by geo-blocking game keys. Doing so would essentially block players from looking outside their country of residence for better game prices, something that runs afoul of regulation.

Following a two-year-long investigation, the commission charged all six involved with violating those rules this April.

Sources speaking to Reuters now say that the five publishers accused of willfully geo-blocking sales through Steam (Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media, and ZeniMax) all plan to settle the case, something generally done by admitting wrongdoing in exchange for a 10 percent reduction in fines.

Valve, the only platform holder among the accused, meanwhile plans to push back against the charges, according to sources close to the matter. Reuters notes that Valve said in April it had disabled region locks in Europe back in 2015, and that they only applied to 3 percent of Steam’s total library to begin with.

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