European Union antitrust regulators are going after Valve and five other game
companies over geo-blocking game activations, saying this violates EU regulations. This is a follow-up to news from
that this was one a few potentially anticompetitive practices under
investigation. This is outlined in
a report on Reuters
which says the other companies involved are Bandai
Namco, Capcom, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media, and ZeniMax. Word is an EU
commission served the companies with what it calls a "statement of objections,"
allowing them to reply and request hearings. Here's an explanation:
Companies found guilty of anti-competitive behavior can be fined up to 10
percent of their annual global turnover.
The Commission said it was concerned that Valve and the five game publishers
agreed to prevent cross-border sales by geo-blocking the ‘activation keys’ that
enable consumers to be able to play games.
This may have prevented consumers from buying cheaper games available in other
EU antitrust regulators opened its investigation in February 2017, at the same
time also looking into online sales of electronics and hotel rooms.
EU rules prohibit geographically based restrictions that undermine online
shopping and cross-border sales. Last month, it fined Nike for blocking
cross-border sales of soccer merchandise.