Image: ValveThe EU have actually fined Valve and five publishers an overall of EUR7.8 million (USD$ 9.5 million) over their practice of “geo-blocking” PC game sales on Steam, which generally implies forcing users in a nation (say, Germany) to just pay the German cost for a video game, instead of letting them purchase a more affordable variation of the same video game from a different European country.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 EUR6.2 million. As the owners and operators of Steam, Valve– who “picked not to cooperate with the Commission”– were fined EUR1.6 million. “Todays sanctions versus the “geo-blocking” practices of Valve and 5 PC video game publishers work as a suggestion that under EU competition law, business are forbidden from contractually limiting cross-border sales”, EU competitors Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager states. “Such practices deprive European customers of the advantages of the EU Digital Single Market and of the opportunity to search for the most suitable offer in the EU”. If the “Valve selected not to work together” thing sounds familiar, thats since the business was likewise unhelpful when faced with claims in Australia, prior to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission forced their hand.