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Valve, Others Hammered By EU Over Geo-Blocking
Quote:Update 4/5/19, 9:20 a.m. PT: Valve sent us a statement in response to the European Commission's announcement. The company reiterated that the commission's issues don't involve sales through Steam, just Steam activation keys used by physical copies of games and said it neither receives compensation directly from the companies nor a portion of sales for providing this service.

More important is the company's claim that few titles were affected by geo-blocking, that it shouldn't be subject to any penalties for providing a platform on which other companies did wrong and that the commission's complaint arrived a few years late:

The European Commission announced today that it sent Statements of Objections to Valve, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax for "geo-blocking" Steam activation keys for physical copies of games (which do, in fact, still exist) based on national borders.
The European Commission said Valve and the game publishers agreed to block cross-border sales involving "Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and in some cases Romania." All of the publishers except Capcom also included export restrictions in their contracts with other game distributors that "may have prevented consumers from purchasing and playing PC video games sold by these distributors."

These restrictions are said to violate Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union via Regulation 2018/302, which prohibits geo-blocking, which is why the commission sent these Statements of Objections. That regulation went into effect in December 2018, but the commission's investigation into Valve and these game publishers actually started in February 2017. Now the companies have a chance to respond.

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