EU Commission Investigating Valve For Region Locking Steam Keys
Valve could be found in contravention of some pretty major EU laws.
The European Commission has announced that it will open an investigation into suspected geo locking of Steam keys by Valve. One of the key tenets of the European Union is a unified economic zone, allowing free movement of goods across borders, with no penalties, tariffs, or taxes. Customers in the European Union are allowed full choice of cross border goods.
If Valve is indeed region locking Steam goods and keys, then it would be in contravention of this freedom of movement of goods- it would also be breaking EU competition rules by unfairly restricting retail prices on a national or regional basis, or by excluding customers from certain offers because of their nationality or location. If Valve is found in violation of these rules, it could be fined, and it could be ordered to allow EU customers to purchase games from any Steam Store from within the European union- potentially leading to cheaper prices for a lot of customers.
As of right now, this is just an announcement of an investigation- there have been no results, and there isn’t even a deadline by which this investigation is set to conclude. Still, it should be fascinating to see how things go from here.