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Wolfire versus Valve antitrust lawsuit to continue

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After it seeming like Valve might have won in the lawsuit from Wolfire Game, the story appears to be far from over.

Last we heard it was in part being dismissed, seemingly like Valve had the upper hand as Wolfire didn't have sufficient evidence of their claims. Now though, as reported by Bloomberg Law, part of the case has been allowed to continue as the judge now seems to believe that it's "plausible" Valve uses their position to mess with the market in their favour.

The issue here, as before, is that Wolfire claim that Valve and Steam use a "most favoured nation" clause with a mixture of "written and unwritten rules" to "prevent price competition from rival storefronts". Wolfire are again sticking to their claim that Valve would remove games from Steam that are found cheaper elsewhere, noting that a "Steam account manager" told Wolfire that Valve would "delist any games available for sale at a lower price elsewhere, whether or not using Steam keys" and it's this that has the judge saying "These allegations are sufficient to plausibly allege unlawful conduct" and so it's going to continue on that point.

Other claims like the 30% cut Valve take being "supracompetitive", and another antitrust issue of Valve tying together the Steam Store and Steam Platform seem to be dismissed.

Whenever we hear what happens next, we'll let you know.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Steam, Valve
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22 comments
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AussieEevee 11 May
QuoteOther claims like the 30% cut Valve take being "supracompetitive"
Sorry for the dumb question, but what does this mean? Are they - like Epic - complaining that the 30% is too high? Isn't that industry standard though? Last I heard Microsoft and Sony both charged a 30% cut too.


Last edited by AussieEevee on 11 May 2022 at 12:39 pm UTC
Liam Dawe 11 May
Quoting: AussieEevee
QuoteOther claims like the 30% cut Valve take being "supracompetitive"
Sorry for the dumb question, but what does this mean? Are they - like Epic - complaining that the 30% is too high? Isn't that industry standard though? Last I heard Microsoft and Sony both charged a 30% cut too.
Yes, they're complaining that it's too high, and the supracompetitive elements means that they feel it wouldn't survive being that high if the market was allowed to be more competitive. However, since it's remained like it is for so long (in addition to smaller cuts for the super-sellers), the judge seems to think it's not an issue.
The claim that Valve will delist games that are sold cheaper elsewhere is false on its face. Humble Bundle has been selling Steam games at a steep discount for over a decade, and not a single one of them has been delisted.
scaine 11 May
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Quoting: Mountain ManThe claim that Valve will delist games that are sold cheaper elsewhere is false on its face. Humble Bundle has been selling Steam games at a steep discount for over a decade, and not a single one of them has been delisted.
Yeah, Fanatical too. I have no idea where this is coming from. Absolutely baffling from Wolfire, and even the legal system itself could do a 5 minute check on the veracity of this claim. I'm very confused by all this.

Like, right this minute, on Steam:
Monster Hunter Risk for £24.99 on Steam

But on Fanatical:
Monster Hunter Risk £20.99 on Fanatical

I must be missing some nuance of the case.
mirv 11 May
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It isn't about selling steam keys cheaper elsewhere, it's about selling a (non-steam) game elsewhere cheaper has threats to delist the game on steam. It seems the judge has ruled that this is a plausible scenario, and is thus allowing the case to proceed.

The judge is not saying it's happening or not. Just that it's possible, and so a trial can proceed to determine the matter.
dibz 11 May
My guess is it's simple word play against a support rep to get them to say / "confirm" something by way of a "clarification".

I used to work in support, including managing it, for a company a long time ago and there was absolutely douchenozzles that behaved that way. Then they will die on the sword that a companies official stance is determined by a low paid, overworked, support worker's poor wording or even own confusion.


Last edited by dibz on 11 May 2022 at 1:40 pm UTC
Quoting: mirvIt isn't about selling steam keys cheaper elsewhere, it's about selling a (non-steam) game elsewhere cheaper has threats to delist the game on steam. It seems the judge has ruled that this is a plausible scenario, and is thus allowing the case to proceed.

The judge is not saying it's happening or not. Just that it's possible, and so a trial can proceed to determine the matter.

Wolfire was supposedly told that Valve will "delist any games available for sale at a lower price elsewhere, whether or not using Steam keys", which is demonstrably false.
Termy 11 May
Quoting: mirvIt seems the judge has ruled that this is a plausible scenario, and is thus allowing the case to proceed.

I'm just confused that the judge didn't ask for any sort of evidence (which wolfire wouldn't be able to provide of course) - guess he wants to keep enough work for the court going? ^^
Lachu 11 May
Nobody will destroy MS, so why punish Valve?
F.Ultra 11 May
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Quoting: Mountain Man
Quoting: mirvIt isn't about selling steam keys cheaper elsewhere, it's about selling a (non-steam) game elsewhere cheaper has threats to delist the game on steam. It seems the judge has ruled that this is a plausible scenario, and is thus allowing the case to proceed.

The judge is not saying it's happening or not. Just that it's possible, and so a trial can proceed to determine the matter.

Wolfire was supposedly told that Valve will "delist any games available for sale at a lower price elsewhere, whether or not using Steam keys", which is demonstrably false.

What I want to know is if Wolfire changed their allegations or if this is just a change in reporting. In their initial complaint they claimed that they had heard this from a 3d party that they would be delisted from Steam of they added their game to a Humble Bundle with discounts. But now it's being reported as Valve telling this directly to Wolfire.


Last edited by F.Ultra on 11 May 2022 at 2:45 pm UTC
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