The European Union has launched an antitrust investigation into the regional blocking practices used on Steam. Valve's online store makes extensive use of activation codes so users can download games.
This method validates the purchase of online games and also physical copies, but according to the EU also serves another purpose: to serve to boost the sale of games in stores that offer these activation keys with juicy discounts according to the country , something that would be contrary To the laws of the European Union.
Regional blockages undermine free competition
Companies like G2A or Kinguin are well-known for offering Steam games at reduced prices, but they do it according to the region, something that does not facilitate the business to the small developers and distributors of these titles, harming the free competition.
According to the research, Valve could have reached agreements with five major developers to use such activation codes as a regional blocking mechanism: certain clues only work for certain countries, which harms the single EU market in which per capita income and GDP is very different.
While there does not seem to be any risk to Steam, Valve could face a judgment against it for facilitating such practices. The five developers are ZeniMax (owner of Bethesda, Arkane or id Software, among others), Capcom, Bandai Namco, Focus Home and Koch Media, owner of Deep Silver.