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Valve Faces £656 Million UK Lawsuit Over Alleged Market Abuse

In a significant legal move, Valve Corporation, the operator of the popular digital distribution platform Steam, is facing a collective action lawsuit in the UK. The lawsuit, filed on 5 June at the Competition Appeal Tribunal by digital rights campaigner Vicki Shotbolt, claims that Valve has been exploiting its dominant market position to the detriment of consumers.

Shotbolt, representing 14 million PC gamers, is demanding £656 million (US$839 million) in compensation. According to a statement on the campaign’s website, Valve is accused of stifling competition by enforcing pricing restrictions on game publishers. These restrictions allegedly set a minimum price for games on competing platforms, resulting in inflated costs for UK consumers.

“We believe Valve Corporation has been unfairly shutting out competition for PC games and in-game content, which has meant that UK customers have paid too much for these products,” the statement asserts. Additionally, the claim highlights that Valve charges publishers a commission of up to 30%, further contributing to the higher prices faced by consumers.

The class action encompasses anyone residing in the UK who purchased PC games or downloadable content from 5 June 2018 onwards. Should the lawsuit succeed, each class member could receive compensation ranging from £22 to £44.

This case is financially supported by a third-party litigation funder and is handled under conditional fee agreements with legal advisers. The law firm Milberg London, known for advocating consumer rights, is backing the suit. Milberg London is also pursuing a £5 billion collective action against Sony for similar allegations of market abuse through excessive pricing on the PlayStation Store.

Sony’s attempts to dismiss that case were overruled by the UK’s specialist competition court last year, allowing the case to proceed to trial. The lawsuit against Valve is expected to be a prolonged process, potentially taking several years to reach a conclusion.

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Comment(1)

  1. „Valve“ teisinis ieškinys JK: monopolij? ir skepticizmo m?šis – Meta Pasaulis

    June 17, 2024 at 12:43 pm

    […] – konkurentas, kuris užima tik 15% rinkos, palyginti su didžiule „Steam“ 80% akcij?.Kakuchopurei) (Eurogamer.net). Nepaisant šio skirtumo, k?r?jai dažnai neturi kito pasirinkimo, kaip tik […]

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