Publishers fined $9.5M for geo-blocking Steam games in the EU

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The EU has fined Valve and five publishers $9.5 million for geo-blocking PC games on Steam within Europe.

According to Kotaku:

Geo-blocking breaches EU antitrust rules, and so the five publishers cited—Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax (Bethesda)—were fined around €6.2 million. As the owners and operators of Steam, Valve—who “chose not to cooperate with the Commission”—were fined €1.6 million.

“Today’s sanctions against the ‘geo-blocking’ practices of Valve and five PC video game publishers serve as a reminder that under EU competition law, companies are prohibited from contractually restricting cross-border sales,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

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Compared to their profits in the European Union, though, it sounds like more of a slap on the wrist. Valve plans to appeal the ruling, so they might not ultimately even be on the hook for the small fine that they currently face.