Home Valve faces huge lawsuit over Steam ‘overcharging users’

Valve faces huge lawsuit over Steam ‘overcharging users’


  • Valve Corporation, Steam's parent company, is being sued for £656m on behalf of 14 million UK PC gamers.
  • The lawsuit alleges Valve overcharged customers by shutting out competition and imposing excessive commissions.
  • UK gamers could receive compensation up to £44 if they purchased PC games or add-ons from 5 June 2018.

The parent company of the video game digital distribution service Steam faces a £656m ($843m)  lawsuit on behalf of UK PC gamers.

On June 5, digital rights campaigner Vicki Sholtbolt filed a legal action against Valve Corporation as they accused the company of using its market dominance to overcharge 14 million people in the UK.

The campaigner estimates the amount they’re suing for is the total compensation that is allegedly owed by Valve to UK PC gamers.

As part of the claim, Ms Sholtbolt believes the American video game developer 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 claim has been filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London and is known as a collective action claim where one person goes to court on behalf of a larger group.

The campaigner alleges that Valve Corporation is in breach of UK competition law and focuses on three key issues within the claim. This includes price parity obligation clauses, tying, and excessive pricing.

They believe that the company “has imposed an excessive commission, of up to 30%, charged to publishers, that resulted in inflated prices on its Steam platform.”

Compensation could be offered to UK PC gamers under lawsuit

On the ‘Steam You Owe Us’ website that has been created, the campaigner says the claim has been filed “on behalf of all affected UK PC gamers.”

If the lawsuit is successful, the website states there could be up to £44 in compensation for those who have paid for PC video games, or add-on game content, in the UK from 5 June 2018. Gamers who match the above criteria and live in Scotland could be eligible for more.

The case is backed by law firm Milberg London LLP which brings group action cases against companies. This is the second competition claim in the gaming sector for the law firm, the first being a £5 million claim against Sony PlayStation for its abuse of dominance.

Featured Image: Photo by Axville on Unsplash

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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