EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others

The European Commission announces €7.8 million (USD$9.4 million) in fines for Valve and PC game publishers Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media, and ZeniMax for breaching EU antitrust rules by geo-blocking the sale of games in the territory. Word is Valve's fine was highest because they refused to cooperate with the commission. The EC estimates the European game market is worth over €17 billion (USD$20.5 billion), so the over €1.6 million (USD$1.9 million) they fined Valve does not sound like it would cause them to change how they operate. Here's word:
The European Commission has fined Valve, owner of the online PC gaming platform “Steam”, and the five publishers Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax € 7.8 million for breaching EU antitrust rules.

Valve and the publishers restricted cross-border sales of certain PC video games on the basis of the geographical location of users within the European Economic Area (‘EEA'), entering into, the so called “geo-blocking” practices. The fines for the publishers, totalling over €6 million, were reduced due to the companies' cooperation with the Commission. Valve chose not to cooperate with the Commission and was fined over €1.6 million.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “More than 50% of all Europeans play video games. The videogame industry in Europe is thriving and it is now worth over € 17 billion. Today's sanctions against the “geo-blocking” practices of Valve and five PC video game publishers serve as a reminder that under EU competition law, companies are prohibited from contractually restricting cross-border sales. Such practices deprive European consumers of the benefits of the EU Digital Single Market and of the opportunity to shop around for the most suitable offer in the EU”.
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 21, 2021, 04:23
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 21, 2021, 04:23
Jan 21, 2021, 04:23
 
ZeroPike1 wrote on Jan 21, 2021, 03:37:
Have you met Capitalism yet? Its like 100% catered to enhancing rich people. Always has been, always will be.
Yeah, and you and Eraser seem very happy to make sure it stays that way. To me it doesn't seem much different from Cutter throwing a fit when a Black developers' showcase is announced. Grind the people at the bottom and then congratulate yourselves on how fair you've made things.
13.
 
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 21, 2021, 03:37
13.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 21, 2021, 03:37
Jan 21, 2021, 03:37
 
Have you met Capitalism yet? Its like 100% catered to enhancing rich people. Always has been, always will be.
Avatar 58207
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 21, 2021, 01:56
12.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 21, 2021, 01:56
Jan 21, 2021, 01:56
 
ZeroPike1 wrote on Jan 21, 2021, 01:09:
You play by the EU rules when you want to be in the EU market. Extra work? sure. Not a fan of the rules you have to follow? Then your business is not needed in the worlds 3rd largest gaming market I guess. Ohh well on to deal with people/businesses who actually want to make more money.

[url=]https://rlist.io/l/top-100-countries-markets-by-game-revenues[/url]

Geo-blocking seems like more work than not doing anything. As I see it, the EU rule is about benefiting the rich. Either people in wealthy countries get to pay less, or (more likely) else those in poor ones just don't get to buy digital goods. Sucks to be them, but the law's not there to help them.
11.
 
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 21, 2021, 01:09
11.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 21, 2021, 01:09
Jan 21, 2021, 01:09
 
You play by the EU rules when you want to be in the EU market. Extra work? sure. Not a fan of the rules you have to follow? Then your business is not needed in the worlds 3rd largest gaming market I guess. Ohh well on to deal with people/businesses who actually want to make more money.

[url=]https://rlist.io/l/top-100-countries-markets-by-game-revenues[/url]
Avatar 58207
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 17:51
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 17:51
Jan 20, 2021, 17:51
 
Solemn-Philosopher wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 17:47:
I'm not usually pro-big business and I am open to a different take, but I am not sure this is a positive direction for European gamers. If they have a single price for games, gamers in Eastern Europe with generally lower income will have to pay extreme prices for their games in comparison to their income. That is the reason for geoblocking, so people in lower income countries can afford games and people in higher income countries can't cheat and grab a game for cheaper.

This.

Rock Paper Shotgun Article: Geo-blocking is usually done so games can be sold cheaper in low-income countries. However, people in higher-income countries have often found ways in the past to bypass regional pricing. Obviously, publishers aren’t a fan of this, because it means those people nab the lower prices.

Seems to me that if geo-blocking isn't allowed... then those lower-income countries are going to get hit with a much higher price.
Get your games from GOG DAMMIT!
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 17:47
9.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 17:47
Jan 20, 2021, 17:47
 
I'm not usually pro-big business and I am open to a different take, but I am not sure this is a positive direction for European gamers. If they have a single price for games, gamers in Eastern Europe with generally lower income will have to pay extreme prices for their games in comparison to their income. That is the reason for geoblocking, so people in lower income countries can afford games and people in higher income countries can't cheat and grab a game for cheaper.
"In questions about good and bad, we ought not to follow the opinion of the many, but the opinion of the one who has understanding."
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 13:50
El Pit
 
8.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 13:50
Jan 20, 2021, 13:50
 El Pit
 
If Valve doesn't end the geo-blocking, fines will come regularly... and they will become bigger over time.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 13:10
7.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 13:10
Jan 20, 2021, 13:10
 
The fines may appear low, but they are nearly guaranteed the large part of profit these companies made in the listed regions - Czechia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for that duration.
Avatar 54727
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 13:01
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 13:01
Jan 20, 2021, 13:01
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 12:56
Kxmode
 
5.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 12:56
Jan 20, 2021, 12:56
 Kxmode
 
The fine is meager. It's not about the money but a message the EU wants to send. To pay the penalty is equivalent to Valve agreeing with their decision, which they don't. So, no, Valve is not going to pay. They'll duke it out in a courtroom.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 12:56
4.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 12:56
Jan 20, 2021, 12:56
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 12:54:
Another useless 'cost of doing business' fine. Nothing says 'co-operate' like banning them from doing business entirely until they comply.
For Focus Home Interactive, that fine is ~2% of their 19/20 revenue, so not entirely insignificant.

For the rest, yea their fines could easily be shovelled under "cost of doing business".
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 12:54
3.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 12:54
Jan 20, 2021, 12:54
 
Another useless 'cost of doing business' fine. Nothing says 'co-operate' like banning them from doing business entirely until they comply.
"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 12:41
2.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 12:41
Jan 20, 2021, 12:41
 
Will they even pay it?
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Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others
Jan 20, 2021, 12:05
Dev
1.
Re: EU Geo-Blocking Fines for Valve and Others Jan 20, 2021, 12:05
Jan 20, 2021, 12:05
Dev
 
"The publishers requested Valve to set up geographical restrictions and to provide geo-blocked Steam activation keys."

If the publishers have agreed to stop, valve won't get fined anymore. If they continue anyway, there will be more.

Regardless, yeah that under $2 mil won't do anything.
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