Valve intends to appeal against a European Commission ruling which would prevent the practice of ‘geo-blocking’ within the European Union. In a report published last night, Reuters claimed that Valve is the only one of six publishers that is not settling the case.
Earlier this year, the Commission found that Valve, along with publishers Zenimax, Koch Media, Bandai Namco, Capcom, and Focus Home Interactive, were in violation of EU anti-trust rules for their use of geo-blocking, a practice which does not allow consumers to buy and play games across the EU regardless of their home nation.
While the other five companies mentioned in the plan to settle in return for a ten percent reduction in fines, Reuters reports (via PC Gamer) that Valve will be fighting the ruling. The report states that the developer is expected to ask for a hearing in which it will appeal to senior European Commission officials as well as national watchdogs from across the European Union.
Earlier this year, Valve issued a press release refuting the commission’s claims, which stated that the company only applied region locks to a small percentage of the games sold on Steam. Valve also claims that it stopped geo-blocking content in Europe back in 2015.
In a statement given back in April, commissioner Margethe Vestager said that “in a true Digital Single Market, European consumers should have the right to buy and play videogames of their choice regardless of where they live in the EU.”
Once Valve has presented its case to the commissioners, however, it still won’t necessarily be out of the woods. If the company is found to be in breach of the Commission’s rules, it can be ordered to stop, and fined up to ten percent of its annual worldwide turnover. Given the sheer size of the money mountain created by Steam, that might be something that Valve is keen to avoid.
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