We've been waiting to hear how the lawsuit from Wolfire Games (and others) would progress against Valve, and now we at least have word from Valve on what they think. Naturally, Valve are trying to get the whole thing dismissed. What a shocker, as if we didn't all expect Valve to fire back and try to shut it all down. What company wouldn't?
As a quick reminder: the original lawsuit alleges that Valve's 30% cut is abuse of their market position, and it complains about how Valve handles Steam keys too. David Rosen of Wolfire also tried to clarify some details in a later blog post which claimed that Valve would remove their game Overgrowth if they sold it cheaper elsewhere.
In the new motion filed on July 26, Valve were quite blunt with their reasoning for wanting it all thrown out. The point about Steam keys is an interesting one, as the motion states "Plaintiffs’ allegations that Valve's Steam Key rules amount to an unlawful PMFN* fail for the straightforward reason that Valve, which created and owns Steam, has no duty under the antitrust laws to create a method (here, Steam Keys) for game developers to sell Steam-enabled games in stores that compete with Steam.".
*PMFN meaning Permanent Most Favoured Nation
The Most Favoured Nation part is an interesting one, something we've seen developers mention before. However, in this lawsuit Valve are saying no real evidence on it existing has been shown. The only example during this that has been shown was for Discord, when a game was going to be given out free and Valve say "what’s missing from Plaintiffs’ narrative about the sixteen games priced the same is any factual allegation that Valve enforced the alleged PMFN or did anything at all to affect, let alone coerce, the developers to sell at the same prices in two store" and goes on to repeat that there's no actual evidence to show that Valve is forcing pricing to be the same between stores.
When it touches on the 30% cut Valve take, it mentions how "it alleges no facts from which the Court could plausibly infer that Valve’s 30% commission (reduced at larger sales volumes) is above the competitive level" and that "30% was a competitive price from the beginning, was still so nearly a decade later in 2013, when Steam allegedly became 'dominant', and nothing is alleged to have happened since then to make it supracompetitive". Valve are basically saying that it remains competitive, and they say that Wolfire are trying to suggest (with no given evidence as to why) that Valve should reduce the cut over time.
It ends by stating again the lawsuit fails to show any "unlawful conduct, antitrust injury, market power" and so on and so they're asking the court to "grant the motion and dismiss Plaintiff Wolfire’s claims, if it does not stay them pending arbitration"
Overall, pretty standard stuff for a case that was probably doomed to failure from the beginning.
From what we can assume from this lawsuit, and the wording involved, is that Valve does appear to have nothing to state developers need to ensure their pricing is the same for regular store sales.