Valve EU Fine Follow-up

Valve (who many seem surprised are still making games) offers a response to the news that they are being fined in the EU for geo-blocking game sales on Steam. They state that third parties have requested region-locked keys, and that Valve does not profit from the practice:
During the seven year investigation, Valve cooperated extensively with the European Commission (“EC”), providing evidence and information as requested. However, Valve declined to admit that it broke the law, as the EC demanded. Valve disagrees with the EC findings and the fine levied against Valve.

The EC’s charges do not relate to the sale of PC games on Steam – Valve’s PC gaming service. Instead the EC alleges that Valve enabled geo-blocking by providing Steam activation keys and – upon the publishers’ request – locking those keys to particular territories (“region locks”) within the EEA.

Such keys allow a customer to activate and play a game on Steam when the user has purchased it from a third-party reseller. Valve provides Steam activation keys free of charge and does not receive any share of the purchase price when a game is sold by third-party resellers (such as a retailer or other online store).

The region locks only applied to a small number of game titles. Approximately just 3% of all games using Steam (and none of Valve’s own games) at the time were subject to the contested region locks in the EEA. Valve believes that the EC’s extension of liability to a platform provider in these circumstances is not supported by applicable law. Nonetheless, because of the EC’s concerns, Valve actually turned off region locks within the EEA starting in 2015, unless those region locks were necessary for local legal requirements (such as German content laws) or geographic limits on where the Steam partner is licensed to distribute a game. The elimination of region locks may also cause publishers to raise prices in less affluent regions to avoid price arbitrage. There are no costs involved in sending activation keys from one country to another, and the activation key is all a user needs to activate and play a PC game.
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19.
 
Re: Valve EU Fine Follow-up
Jan 22, 2021, 13:14
19.
Re: Valve EU Fine Follow-up Jan 22, 2021, 13:14
Jan 22, 2021, 13:14
 
El Pit wrote on Jan 22, 2021, 08:53:
Apples/oranges. But since you want to compare the fossile fuels market to the entertainment industry (Steam) and the digital market and distribution: Do the US sell their own oil to poorer countries all over the world at a price that relates to the average wages in those countries? I highly doubt it. When it comes to games, though...

Whatever. Valve will give in, the EU (as ONE market) is just too huge to be ignored.

Oil prices are the same on a government level, but poorer countries will subsidize consumer prices to make fuel affordable to their citizenry (with poor results). I don't think they do that for video games. But that's what I was asking, since I have no view from the ground -- what do people in poorer EU countries do about a fixed price? Is gaming reserved for the upper class? Does everyone pirate their games? Do they just suck it up and pay a higher proportion of wages towards entertainment? What's the end result for them?
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   Re: Valve EU Fine Follow-up
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