Geo-blocking is the practice of restricting access to content or products based on which country a person is in.
In this case, Valve, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media and ZeniMax Media were found to have prevented consumers from activating and playing around 100 PC games based upon their geographical location.
“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,” said European Commission executive VP Margrethe Vestager.
“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.”
The European Commission said the fines it handed out to the publishers had been reduced because the companies cooperated with its investigation. It claimed Valve did not cooperate and fined the Steam firm over €1.6 million.
In a statement issued to Eurogamer, a Valve spokesperson disputed this claim and said it would appeal the decision.
“During the seven year investigation Valve has cooperated fully, providing all requested evidence and information to the Commission,” they said. “We disagree with these findings, and plan to appeal the decision.”