Valve Inc., the company behind the popular digital game distribution brand Steam, faces a new lawsuit.
The report says that Valve Inc. requires game publishers and developers to enter into a “Most Favoured Nation” clause. The MFN essentially means that a supplier agrees to treat a customer no worse than the others. Governments across the world have put this type of clause under increased scrutiny.
Apparently, Steam requires game makers to price their game’s digital Steam copy the same as on other PC platforms. This means that developers can’t price their games cheaper on other platforms.
The lawsuit was submitted by Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease LLP, a law firm from the United States. As per the filing, the MFN created by Valve is keeping the PC games’ prices high on other platforms, particularly on some of its main competitors like the Epic Game Store and Microsoft Store.
This results in poor price competition in the PC games market. As per the filing, new players can entice customers by undercutting the incumbents’ prices, helping them gain a market share.
But due to Valve’s MFN, that’s not possible and price competition does not exist.
The lawsuit aims to rule Steam’s MFN clause to be “anticompetitive and constitutes illegal monopolization and monopoly maintenance”.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter