The European Commission fined Valve and the publishers ZeniMax, Capcom, Bandai Namco, Koch Media and Focus Home Interactive a fine of almost 7.9 million euros for violating EU antitrust regulations due to geo-blocking measures.

Heavy fine for geoblocking

Valve and the aforementioned companies have restricted the cross-border sales of certain PC video games based on the geographic location of users within the European Economic Area ("EEA"). This geoblocking has now led to five of the publishers having to pay a fine totaling over 6 million euros, which has already been reduced due to the cooperation with the European Commission. However, because Valve chose not to work with the Commission, the company was fined over € 1.6 million.

The fine is made up as follows:

Focus Home – Fine of € 2,888,000.00 after a 10% reduction.
Zenimax – € 1,664,000.00 fine after a 10% reduction.
Koch Media – Fine of € 977,000.00 after a 10% reduction.
Capcom fine of € 396,000.00 after a 15% reduction.
Bandai Namco – € 340,000.00 fine after a 10% reduction.
Valve – Fine of € 1,624,000.00 with no reduction.

Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, responsible for competition policy, said: "More than 50% of all Europeans play video games. The video game industry in Europe is thriving and is now worth over 17 billion euros. Today's sanctions against the geo-blocking practices of Valve and five PC video games – Publishers remind that EU competition law prohibits companies from contractually restricting cross-border sales, a practice that deprives European consumers of the benefits of the EU's digital single market and the ability to shop for the cheapest EU offer ".

Source: WCCFTech

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