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EU fined video game companies


the European Union has imposed fines on a U.S. video game platform and five other video game companies, after banning players from buying cheaper versions of games in other EU countries.

The European Union Executive Commission said on Wednesday that it had imposed fines on Valve, which owns the online gaming distribution platform Steam, and other toy manufacturers amounting to about 7.8 million euros ($9.5 million) for imposing restrictions on foreign sales in violation of the antitrust law of the Federation.

The Commission explained that the companies used so-called geo-blocking practices to prevent players from activating and playing games sold either on DVD or by downloading. She added that the keys to activating "Steam" prevented the games from operating outside the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

"Such practices deprive European consumers of the benefits of the EU's single digital market and the opportunity to shop for the most appropriate offer in the EU," said Margaret Vestager, executive vice president of the EU's competition supervisor, in her statement.

Geographical blocking restrictions affected nearly 100 games and lasted until November 2018.

Valve, which refused to cooperate with the EUROPEAN Union investigation, was fined 1.6 million euros. The Committee reported that toy manufacturers Bandai Namco, Capcom, Fox Home, Kochmedia and ZeniMax cooperated and reduced their penalties.