Judge Dismisses Antitrust Lawsuit Filed Against Valve

In April, Wolfire Games filed an antitrust lawsuit against Valve, alleging that Steam’s dominance in the PC gaming market enables it to extract “an extraordinarily high cut” of the sales made through its storefront. Valve responded in July, requesting the judge to dismiss the case, saying that the allegations fell short of the necessary requirements to initiate an antitrust case. After months of deliberation and document review, the judge finally dismissed the case in an October ruling, saying the lawsuit fell short on two separate points.

First, the claim that Valve is illegally tying the Steam store to the platform, essentially using the near-monopoly of Steam as a library, launcher, and social media platform to force people to buy games through the Steam storefront, was rejected because the allegations in the lawsuit suggest that the Steam platform and its storefront are in fact “a single product within the integrated game platform and transaction market.” The judge also rejected the argument that Valve uses its near-monopoly to charge excessive fees to sellers, saying that Valve’s take has remained unchanged throughout Steam’s history, even as other online stores charging lower percentages have come and gone. “Therefore, it would appear that the market reality, at least as plead, is that [Valve’s] fee is commensurate with the Steam Platform’s value to game publishers,” the ruling states.

As a result, Valve’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit was granted, but only in part. The dismissal was granted without prejudice, meaning Wolfire has 30 days to amend its complaint to address the cited shortcomings and then re-file it.

(All information was provided by PC Gamer)

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