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Forums - PC Discussion - Lawsuit claims Valve is abusing its market dominance to keep prices high

"A lawsuit filed earlier this week accuses Valve of using its effective monopoly on the PC gaming marketplace to force developers to sell their games on all other digital storefronts at the same price as they're offered on Steam. The suit says a "Most Favored Nations" provision in the Steam Distribution Agreement, in which a seller agrees to give a client—in this case, Steam—the best terms that it makes available anywhere else, means that other storefronts, like the Epic Games Store or the Microsoft Store, cannot compete on price, and thus are unable to effectively compete at all." LINK: https://www.pcgamer.com/lawsuit-claims-valve-is-abusing-its-market-dominance-to-keep-prices-high/

:EDIT
Ok after reading more into it, It seems this in no way effects "Discount" Prices. So the is nothing stopping Epic or another developer from having a permanent Discount on their games on the Epic store if they wished to have them at a lower price and take advantage of that less then 30% cut epic takes. That agreement is more about protecting Valve from developers who might "Rise" the price on steam to make up for the 30% cut Valve take.
Last edited by zero129 - on 31 January 2021

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Doesn't matter if having a permanent discount on other services is technically allowed, it's still risking to sour the relationship to Valve and may still result in removal. Valve is a private company, they can at any point decide that any game should be removed from their store at their own discretion. Pretty sure that's the same nonsense Apple dictates on their appstore. It's anti competitive behavior and needs to be regulated.



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zero129 said:
developer from having a permanent Discount on their games on the Epic store if they wished to have them at a lower price and take advantage of that less then 30% cut epic takes.

Epic takes a 12% cut.

Valve takes a 30% cut



zero129 said:
:EDIT
Ok after reading more into it, It seems this in no way effects "Discount" Prices. So the is nothing stopping Epic or another developer from having a permanent Discount on their games on the Epic store if they wished to have them at a lower price and take advantage of that less then 30% cut epic takes. That agreement is more about protecting Valve from developers who might "Rise" the price on steam to make up for the 30% cut Valve take.

IIRC some countries have laws in place that require an item to have been on sale for the regular price for a certain amount of time before it's allowed to be discounted from that price. So there is still something stopping them from doing it that way.

Also, @bold than*



Ok i guess it is shitty in a number of ways. Its also one of the reasons Tim is saying they have to buy exclusives since valve dictates and has veto say over the price of games.



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Not sure what the issue is. If developers don't want to put their games on Steam, their are plenty of other alternatives. Sure they lose the giant audience however this isn't a console, PCs are not locked to one gaming app. Valve profit more yes, however developers also sell more on Steam so both parties win.

Last edited by Azzanation - 1 day ago

I understand why Microsoft and Epic don't like this policy. it certainly makes it much harder for them to compete with Steam. But, that's business. Microsoft and Epic have very deep pockets. They can throw money at the problem and overcome it, if it's that important to them. Microsoft could effectively buy the exclusive rights to every game in existence and force Valve out of the market in short order, if it was that important to them. The fact that they're not doing it shows you that it's really not that important.

I wouldn't think differently no matter who the complaints were. But, it is particularly ridiculous coming from Microsoft. They could just buy Valve if it's that important.



Its an anti competitive clause within Steam contract and it would be no different if MS or Epic did the same thing. Companies only get noticed like this when they become the market leader within a sector. Right now Steam is the market leader and because of that, they have to be very careful how they use their power or lawsuits like this start to happen. Get the wrong judge and then they face all kinds of issues.



VAMatt said:

I understand why Microsoft and Epic don't like this policy. it certainly makes it much harder for them to compete with Steam. But, that's business. Microsoft and Epic have very deep pockets. They can throw money at the problem and overcome it, if it's that important to them. Microsoft could effectively buy the exclusive rights to every game in existence and force Valve out of the market in short order, if it was that important to them. The fact that they're not doing it shows you that it's really not that important.

I wouldn't think differently no matter who the complaints were. But, it is particularly ridiculous coming from Microsoft. They could just buy Valve if it's that important.

Buying companies is a LOT more complicated than that, especially with what you are suggesting lol. For one thing, people aren't always just waiting around to sell their shares to someone with a bunch of money. Some people own shares that they don't want to sell, no matter how much someone offers. Others who would normally sell won't out of principle to a mega corporation. On top of person choice, let's talk government oversight: A republican administration would be all over one company trying to buy that many competitors out, let alone the current democratic one. Bethesda is one thing. But if Microsoft were to try to "buy the exclusive rights to every game in existence" they would be blocked before they even got to 15% of every IP out there probably lol. The guy in the White House who is constantly asking people where he is, what he is supposed to say next, and refuses to do press conferences probably wouldn't be on top of it, but absolutely this would have Bi-Partisan support to be shut down by Vice President Harris, Congress, and the federal courts.



Dulfite said:
VAMatt said:

I understand why Microsoft and Epic don't like this policy. it certainly makes it much harder for them to compete with Steam. But, that's business. Microsoft and Epic have very deep pockets. They can throw money at the problem and overcome it, if it's that important to them. Microsoft could effectively buy the exclusive rights to every game in existence and force Valve out of the market in short order, if it was that important to them. The fact that they're not doing it shows you that it's really not that important.

I wouldn't think differently no matter who the complaints were. But, it is particularly ridiculous coming from Microsoft. They could just buy Valve if it's that important.

Buying companies is a LOT more complicated than that, especially with what you are suggesting lol. For one thing, people aren't always just waiting around to sell their shares to someone with a bunch of money. Some people own shares that they don't want to sell, no matter how much someone offers. Others who would normally sell won't out of principle to a mega corporation. On top of person choice, let's talk government oversight: A republican administration would be all over one company trying to buy that many competitors out, let alone the current democratic one. Bethesda is one thing. But if Microsoft were to try to "buy the exclusive rights to every game in existence" they would be blocked before they even got to 15% of every IP out there probably lol. The guy in the White House who is constantly asking people where he is, what he is supposed to say next, and refuses to do press conferences probably wouldn't be on top of it, but absolutely this would have Bi-Partisan support to be shut down by Vice President Harris, Congress, and the federal courts.

Obviously, buying rights to everything is an exaggeration. 

You're either deliberately ignoring the obvious point - that MS has the money to handle Valve in multiple ways - or..... well, I don't see any other options.