Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit

Valve is facing another antitrust case, as a class action lawsuit filed in Washington this week accuses it of suppressing competition to its Steam platform. According to Top Class Actions, this is being brought about by lead Plaintiffs Wolfire Games, William Herbert, and Daniel Escobar. Wolfire claims paying "supracompetitive commissions" to Valve, while Herbert and Escobar are PC gamers who say they have also paid "supracompetitive prices for PC Desktop Games" bought on Steam. Word is: "The group alleges that Valve violates federal and state antitrust and unfair competition laws in its domination of the PC gaming market, and is seeking public injunctive relief and damages." Here's more:
According to the claim, Valve, which was founded in 1996 by former Microsoft employees as a video game development company, has illegally monopolized the market and distorted and restrained competition through its Steam Store and Steam Gaming Platform.

“Game publishers are forced to use the Steam Store and give Valve 30% of nearly every sale if they want to gain access to the Steam Gaming Platform—access they need in order to sell,” the claim states, adding that the Steam Gaming Platform is the most popular platform on the market with the most users.

In order to afford Valve’s 30 percent commission, game publishers have to raise prices and can no longer afford to invest in innovation and creation, according to the class action lawsuit.

“Gamers are injured by paying higher retail prices caused by Valve’s high commissions. Competition, output, and innovation are suppressed, in ways that can never be fully redressed by damages alone.”
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27.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 30, 2021, 10:59
Verno
 
27.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 30, 2021, 10:59
Apr 30, 2021, 10:59
 Verno
 
There are more PC distribution stores than ever before and wanting access to the steam platform without paying Steam is kind of hilarious. In fact Steam is one of the most expensive platforms for games these days and I shop elsewhere frequently, whether they tie back to Steam or not. Steam is successful because of its wide variety of features appeal to a large mass of users. Competitors often launch half assed clients hoping to cash in with freebies and silly stuff. Steam's terms are fair and represent 18+ years of investment and ongoing costs. There are many other stores on the PC, its an open platform.

Playing: Xenoblade Chronicles DE, Ys IX, God of War
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26.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 30, 2021, 06:48
26.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 30, 2021, 06:48
Apr 30, 2021, 06:48
 
It seems to be that lawyers have concluded the current court system has absolutely no clue regarding gaming and e-business, and there is no clear law that addresses the issues that was not written before the Internet existed, so it is a low risk 50/50 chance one will get a judge that decides in favor of the complaint, regardless of its actual merits.
"Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss." - The Who.
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25.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 30, 2021, 04:27
25.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 30, 2021, 04:27
Apr 30, 2021, 04:27
 
bigspender wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 20:26:
Kxmode wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 17:54:
bigspender wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 17:35:
Maybe if these lisping furries made a game that didn't take 9 years to come to market and then suck, they would be able to sell it anywhere... You don't see Diablo 3 Devs crying about steam...

Not a good comparison because Blizzard has never sold their games on Steam (I'm not referring to Activision). Blizzard exclusively sells through Battle.net. It's been such a success that Activision has put their games on there too. A recent Battle.net redesign changed the focus to both company's games.

That's my whole point - Blizzard has never sold their games on Steam, and yet entirely successful because their products are good.
Blizzard got away with it due to the massive success of WoW. I am doubtful that B.net would have remained the exclusive source of modern Blizzard titles (Diablo 1 and Warcraft 1 & 2 are available on GoG) without that juggernaut to push their momentum.
24.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 23:26
Kxmode
 
24.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 23:26
Apr 29, 2021, 23:26
 Kxmode
 
Acleacius wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 19:45:
Steam isn't ahead or in power because they are the only one. It will be easy as eating delicious pie,
to prove Steam is a CONSTANT innovator which all others try to immulate. Trollbashing

At the rate Valve releases new features, there are no excuses for other storefronts not to innovate. Imagine how feature-complete EGS would be today if Epic would have stopped wasting money on freebies, exclusives, and lawsuits. Two and a half years after launch, the store still lacks a basic shopping cart.
"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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23.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 23:20
23.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 23:20
Apr 29, 2021, 23:20
 
The chinks in Valves monopoly armor are beginning to widen.
- I refer to it as BC, Before Corona, and AD, After Disaster. -
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22.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 23:20
Kxmode
 
22.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 23:20
Apr 29, 2021, 23:20
 Kxmode
 
fakespyder wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 18:16:
Mixing the 'commission' argument with the 'no alternatives' argument dilutes any valid complaints they have.

Epic games store may not be as big as steam but it is clearly big enough to be an alternative competitor. As is GoG nowadays. Allot of us who care about game ownership will go to gog first.

They want damages for suppressed innovation? Give me a break.

Wolfire Games, William Herbert, and Daniel Escobar use practically the same language as Epic. One might be inclined to believe that Epic secretly paid them to sue Valve because you know they have their hands full with other legal battles (or Epic is supporting their efforts in some way). If so, Epic is fighting court battles against Apple and Google in multiple jurisdictions and Valve in one.

This is some Lex Luther level stuff. Cthulhu
"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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21.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 23:15
Kxmode
 
21.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 23:15
Apr 29, 2021, 23:15
 Kxmode
 
bigspender wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 20:26:
Kxmode wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 17:54:
bigspender wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 17:35:
Maybe if these lisping furries made a game that didn't take 9 years to come to market and then suck, they would be able to sell it anywhere... You don't see Diablo 3 Devs crying about steam...

Not a good comparison because Blizzard has never sold their games on Steam (I'm not referring to Activision). Blizzard exclusively sells through Battle.net. It's been such a success that Activision has put their games on there too. A recent Battle.net redesign changed the focus to both company's games.

That's my whole point - Blizzard has never sold their games on Steam, and yet entirely successful because their products are good.

The point wasn't explicitly clear, but I see now. . Thumbsup
"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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20.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 20:26
20.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 20:26
Apr 29, 2021, 20:26
 
Kxmode wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 17:54:
bigspender wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 17:35:
Maybe if these lisping furries made a game that didn't take 9 years to come to market and then suck, they would be able to sell it anywhere... You don't see Diablo 3 Devs crying about steam...

Not a good comparison because Blizzard has never sold their games on Steam (I'm not referring to Activision). Blizzard exclusively sells through Battle.net. It's been such a success that Activision has put their games on there too. A recent Battle.net redesign changed the focus to both company's games.

That's my whole point - Blizzard has never sold their games on Steam, and yet entirely successful because their products are good.
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"Money doesn't exist in the 24th century, the acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity." - Jean-Luc Picard
19.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 19:45
19.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 19:45
Apr 29, 2021, 19:45
 
Steam isn't ahead or in power because they are the only one. It will be easy as eating delicious pie,
to prove Steam is a CONSTANT innovator which all others try to immulate. Trollbashing
‘What is this bullshit that you people are doing?’
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18.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 18:24
18.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 18:24
Apr 29, 2021, 18:24
 
Forced, huh? Is this at gunpoint, or do they take family members hostage?
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17.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 18:16
17.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 18:16
Apr 29, 2021, 18:16
 
Mixing the 'commission' argument with the 'no alternatives' argument dilutes any valid complaints they have.

Epic games store may not be as big as steam but it is clearly big enough to be an alternative competitor. As is GoG nowadays. Allot of us who care about game ownership will go to gog first.

They want damages for suppressed innovation? Give me a break.
Avatar 58853
16.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 17:54
Kxmode
 
16.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 17:54
Apr 29, 2021, 17:54
 Kxmode
 
bigspender wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 17:35:
Maybe if these lisping furries made a game that didn't take 9 years to come to market and then suck, they would be able to sell it anywhere... You don't see Diablo 3 Devs crying about steam...

Not a good comparison because Blizzard has never sold their games on Steam (I'm not referring to Activision). Blizzard exclusively sells through Battle.net. It's been such a success that Activision has put their games on there too. A recent Battle.net redesign changed the focus to both company's games.
"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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15.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 17:49
15.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 17:49
Apr 29, 2021, 17:49
 
Good luck. You and your lawyers are going to need it.
14.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 17:47
Kxmode
 
14.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 17:47
Apr 29, 2021, 17:47
 Kxmode
 
WaltC wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 13:36:
Civil court in the US is basically a welfare system for attorneys. Such a racket these days.

I'll do you one better: out-of-court legal-gray settlements. ADA compliance threats have hit our company numerous times. IANAL, but I have a background in ADA compliance and am familiar with ADA's federal and state "laws" (Sadly, they're static). The bottom line is ADA compliance follows two primary principles.

1. Public sector websites is any website created by the government and encompasses domains ending in .com, .org, .net, .gov, and any other extension. This list also includes any private business that is contracting for the government. So, for example, websites for Booz Allen Hamilton and Boeing would need to be ADA compliant.
2. The other condition for compliance is if the business operates a physical location. Target, Walmart, Home Depot, McDonald's, and the like all have to ensure their websites are ADA compliant because the ADA laws that apply to their physical location also extend to their websites. Sadly this condition also includes little mom and pop businesses that have websites.

Outside of those two conditions, businesses aren't legally obligated to be ADA compliant. I use the word "principles" because no concrete federal or state laws for ADA compliance exist for public and private sectors. However, a business staring at a legal threat will typically pay the extortion settlement that can range from $5,000 and more.
"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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13.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 17:35
13.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 17:35
Apr 29, 2021, 17:35
 
Maybe if these lisping furries made a game that didn't take 9 years to come to market and then suck, they would be able to sell it anywhere... You don't see Diablo 3 Devs crying about steam...
_________________________________________________
"Money doesn't exist in the 24th century, the acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity." - Jean-Luc Picard
12.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 17:17
Kxmode
 
12.
Re: Valve Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 17:17
Apr 29, 2021, 17:17
 Kxmode
 
"Then go sell your products on Epic Games Store. It offers a generous 88/12 split. Case dismissed." - Judge.

Their gripe has less to do with antitrust and unfair competition and more to do with how many people use Steam to buy their games instead of EGS, GOG, Direct2Drive, GameStop, and other competing storefronts. Steam's active monthly user base dwarfs EGS with ~130-140 million.

They want to "break" Valve's dominance in the PC gaming business so that people will disperse to other storefronts. That's not going to happen while Steam remains the platform with the most consumer-friendly features. Perhaps Epic should stop blowing their money on lawsuits, freebies, and exclusives and start seriously improving their store. They could start by offering an attractive 30-day/10-hour (whichever comes first) unconditional refund. If they did that, I'd switch to EGS in a heartbeat.
"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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11.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antirust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 15:57
11.
Re: Valve Hit With Antirust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 15:57
Apr 29, 2021, 15:57
 
These seem like valid complaints, good luck however against Valve's infinite stream of lawyers of and money.

I wonder what the break down for market share is between Steam, GoG, EGS. Uplay, Origin(or whatever it is now), Battle.net probably don't count, as their catalogs are far smaller, and mostly their own IPs.

Anecdotally, I am buying whatever I can on GoG first, then Steam, then EGS, but sometimes that means I have to wait a couple of months for something to appear on GoG. To be fair this seems to be happening less frequently(the added delay) as more companies get over releasing stuff with no DRM on GoG.

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10.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antirust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 15:17
10.
Re: Valve Hit With Antirust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 15:17
Apr 29, 2021, 15:17
 
Bill Borre wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 13:04:
I haven't studied law but I don't believe a business pricing model is relevant as to whether they engage in anticompetitive behaviors.
If developers are forced to use your product because you're 75% of the market like Steam is, and they enforce prices by insisting that no other vendor can sell at a lower price, that's anticompetitive by definition.
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9.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antirust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 14:11
9.
Re: Valve Hit With Antirust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 14:11
Apr 29, 2021, 14:11
 
thestryker wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 13:58:
lmgtfy: Supracompetitive pricing is pricing above what can be sustained in a competitive market. This may be indicative of a business that has a unique legal or competitive advantage or of anti-competitive behavior that has driven competition from the market.
Uh, yeah -- no need, I did it myself. Hence the comment I made instead of the one I didn't which would have read something like, "What the hell is that?"
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
8.
 
Re: Valve Hit With Antirust Lawsuit
Apr 29, 2021, 13:58
8.
Re: Valve Hit With Antirust Lawsuit Apr 29, 2021, 13:58
Apr 29, 2021, 13:58
 
Not sure they're going to get anywhere with this unless it's banking on the most favored nation clause Steam has. Even then I'm not really sure they have a case.

Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 13:25:
"supracompetitive" commissions? Typo? British spelling? Whatever. Raising prices makes them unable to afford to invest? Is English a second language to these guys?

lmgtfy: Supracompetitive pricing is pricing above what can be sustained in a competitive market. This may be indicative of a business that has a unique legal or competitive advantage or of anti-competitive behavior that has driven competition from the market.

HoSpanky wrote on Apr 29, 2021, 13:26:
Steam is the most popular storefront because the company put a lot of resources toward it.

It's the most popular because it was the first and Valve strong armed their customers into using it. Features wise it was a natural, slow progression they've just had a lot of time.
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