EU vs Valve and Others Over Geo-Blocking

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 two years ago 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 countries.

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.
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Re: EU vs Valve and Others Over Geo-Blocking
Apr 6, 2019, 04:27
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Re: EU vs Valve and Others Over Geo-Blocking Apr 6, 2019, 04:27
Apr 6, 2019, 04:27
 
MeanJim wrote on Apr 5, 2019, 15:43:
Bodolza wrote on Apr 5, 2019, 15:01:
Beamer wrote on Apr 5, 2019, 13:43:
There's no reason, except that some countries average $85,000 per year for a family of four, and other countries, with the same currency, average $25,000.

And because they're part of the EU, those families are free to move and work in those other countries if they want the higher salary. Of course the cost of living will also be higher, so it might not be worth it, but they have the freedom to choose where they live and work.

So everything except video games is allowed to be adjusted for the local economy?
Pretty much. It's an ongoing issue with the EU in general: how do they offer a single digital market overlaid on top of a union of many different countries? A single market is economically efficient - vendors don't need to worry about rules and regulations for 28 different nations - but the fact that these countries are still in some ways so disparate leaves some issues.

The prevailing thought is that because digital goods are cheap to copy, a single market is superior. Whereas physical goods have local labor costs, and therefore can and should be priced to match the local norms.
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      Re: EU vs Valve and Others Over Geo-Blocking
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