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Valve hit with $843 million lawsuit for allegedly ripping off UK gamers

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Valve is facing new legal pressure from UK gamers. Over 14 million UK players have filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that Valve has abused its dominance of gaming through Steam. The class action lawsuit seeks more than £656 million ($843 million) in compensation for the alleged harm caused to customers over the years.

A law firm, Milberg London, backed the claim, saying that Valve forces publishers into signing price-parity deals. This ensures Steam always has the lowest game prices and stops competitors from offering cheaper options. As a result, Milberg London argues UK consumers have paid too much for games and in-game purchases over at least six years.

The legal action accuses Valve of breaching UK competition law. It aims to end Valve's allegedly anti-competitive practices and help recoup funds for affected customers.

In a statement, Natasha Pearman from Milberg London said:

Valve is rigging the market and taking advantage of UK gamers. Competition law is there to protect consumers and ensure that markets work properly. When they don’t work properly and consumers are harmed, collective actions of this kind provide consumers with a voice and a way of holding big companies, like Valve, to account.

Valve dominates the PC gaming market through its Steam platform, which saw over 34 million concurrent users in the last month. If successful, each of the estimated 14 million UK Steam users covered could receive a portion of the damages.

The claim bears similarities to a separate £7.9 billion lawsuit against Sony over its PlayStation Store commission and pricing. Both suits argue the 30% platform fees charged by Valve and Sony are excessive.

In other news, Valve kicked off the Steam Next Fest this week. Players can try hundreds of demos during the Next Fest and add them to their wishlists. You can use Steam Tags to quickly make new discoveries across pages. Keep in mind that this year's Steam Next Fest ends on June 17.

Source: BBC

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