It's been two years since Steam implemented protections against customers spoofing their location to buy games from other countries' storefronts, as gamers tried to use currency conversions in order to get games for far cheaper than they normally would be in their home region. It's also been almost two years since the European Commission filed charges against Valve for doing so, as according to them, it prevented members of the European Union from being able to freely shop for the best available prices within any country inside the EU. Now, as result of that, the EU has hit them, along with five other video game publishers with major fines over "geo-blocking" customers. Valve, ZeniMax, Focus Home Interactive, Capcom, Koch Media, and Bandai Namco have been fined to the tune of € 7.8 million total. Valve, as they refused to cooperate with the Commission, was fined €1.6 million, while the other publishers had their fees decreased somewhat, as they worked alongside the Commission during the investigation. European publisher Focus Home was fined €2.9 million, ZeniMax--parent company of Bethesda--was fined $1.6 million, Koch was fined €1 million, while Capcom and Bandai Namco weren't fined as much, at €396,000 and €340,000 respectively.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “More than 50% of all Europeans play video games. The videogame industry in Europe is thriving and it is now worth over € 17 billion. Today's sanctions against the “geo-blocking” practices of Valve and five PC video game publishers serve as a reminder that under EU competition law, companies are prohibited from contractually restricting cross-border sales. Such practices deprive European consumers of the benefits of the EU Digital Single Market and of the opportunity to shop around for the most suitable offer in the EU”.