The EU Commission fines a PC gaming platform and its publishers for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax)

On January 20, 2021, the European Commission (“Commission”) fined Valve and PC video games publishers [1] €7.8 million for restricting cross-border sales of PC video games within the EEA. [2] Video games publishers requested Valve, owner of the PC video gaming platform Steam, to provide geo-blocked activation keys and set up geographical restrictions to prevent users from playing their games on Steam outside certain Member States. The publishers provided those keys to their distributors in eight EU Member States. [3] The Commission concluded that the bilateral agreements between Valve and the video game publishers, and the bilateral licensing and distribution agreements between video game publishers and distributors alike, violated Article 101 TFEU because they restricted cross-border

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Author

  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)

Quotation

Brian Cullen, The EU Commission fines a PC gaming platform and its publishers for geo-blocking practices (Valve / Bandai Namco / Capcom / Focus Home / Koch Media / ZeniMax), 20 January 2021, e-Competitions January 2021, Art. N° 99098

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