EU gets steamed up about online game sales restrictions



European Union antitrust authorities are concerned that some video game publishers aren’t playing by the rules of the EU’s single market, charging customers in different countries different prices for access to what is essentially the same game.

The European Commission opened investigations into five companies distributing their games online through the Steam network operated by Valve.

The companies — Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax — are suspected of placing geographical restrictions on the use of Steam activation keys so that they can’t be used by buyers in some parts of the EU to play their video games. This could allow them to sell activation keys at a higher price in some countries, and prevent players in those countries from activating the game with cheaper keys purchased elsewhere in the EU.

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