European Commission distributes € 7.8 million fine to Valve and five other publishers

European Commission distributes € 7.8 million fine to Valve and five other publishers
During April 2019, the European Commission opened an investigation into 6 publishers in the video game market in order to highlight a potential geographic blocking of cross-border sales of game keys. Today, the investigation is coming to an end and the Commission European Commission imposes a 7.8 million euro fine on the publishers concerned.

The six companies suspected by the European Commission, namely Valve (Steam), Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax (Bethesda) are now found guilty. Indeed, the latter were fined 7.8 million euros for having signed agreements to zone the keys sold within the European market, a practice which violates the rules of European competition law. . The goal of this practice? Prevent cross-border sales to block consumers wanting to buy keys outside their country of residence.

Sanctions taken today against geo-blocking practices by Valve and five video game publishers on PC recall 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's digital single market and the ability to shop around for the most suitable offer in the EU. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Europe in the Digital Age, and Competition Commissioner

Most publishers have decided to cooperate with the European Commission, which has lowered the cost of the fine, however, the US company Valve received a heavier fine, a fine of 1.624 million euros, for refusing to cooperate.

For their part, Bandai Namco leaves with a fine of 340,000 euros, Capcom, of 396,000 euros, Focus Home, of 2,888 million euros, Koch Media, of 977,000 euros and ZeniMax, of 1,664 million euros euros.

Finally, the European Commission said that the situation of publishers could worsen since any person or company that has been affected by the anti-competitive behavior of publishers can take the case to the courts of the Member States in order to claim damages.

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