Judge dismisses antitrust lawsuit filed against Valve

Overgrowth developer Wolfire Games filed an Antitrust Lawsuit against Valve in April. It claimed that Steam’s dominance of the PC gaming market allows it to take “an extraordinarily large cut” from the sales through its storefront. In July, Valve replied to Wolfire’s antitrust lawsuit by saying that Wolfire’s complaint did not meet the “most basic requirements” of an antitrust case and asking for its dismissal. Today’s ruling by the judge, in this case, affirmed Valve.

CourtListener has the full ruling. It states that Wolfire’s lawsuit is insufficient on two 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–is rejected because the allegations in the lawsuit suggest that the Steam platform and storefront are in fact “a single product within the integrated game platform and transaction market.”

Wolfire also claims that Valve charges sellers an unreasonable fee of 30%, which would not be sustainable in a market with many competitors. This claim led to some interesting discussions earlier in the year. However, the judge rejected the argument. He noted that Valve’s view has remained constant throughout Steam’s history, despite other online stores charging lower percentages.

According to the ruling, “It would appear that market reality, at minimum as plead is that Valve’s] fees are commensurate in value to Steam Platform’s game publishers.”

The judgment cites other precedents and legal points, but the bottom line says that Wolfire’s lawsuit does not contain sufficient facts to allege an antitrust violation based on the market.

Accordingly, Valve’s motion for dismissal of the lawsuit was granted in part. Wolfire now has 30 days to amend the complaint to correct the cited deficiencies and refile them. I have reached out to Valve & Wolfre for comments on the case and will update this post if I get a response.

Overgrowth developer Wolfire Games filed an Antitrust Lawsuit against Valve in April. It claimed that Steam’s dominance of the PC gaming market allows it to take “an extraordinarily large cut” from the sales through its storefront. In July, Valve replied to Wolfire’s antitrust lawsuit by saying that Wolfire’s complaint did not meet the “most basic requirements” of an antitrust case and asking for its dismissal. Today’s ruling by the judge, in this case, affirmed Valve.

CourtListener has the full ruling. It states that Wolfire’s lawsuit is insufficient on two 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–is rejected because the allegations in the lawsuit suggest that the Steam platform and storefront are in fact “a single product within the integrated game platform and transaction market.”

Wolfire also claims that Valve charges sellers an unreasonable fee of 30%, which would not be sustainable in a market with many competitors. This claim led to some interesting discussions earlier in the year. However, the judge rejected the argument. He noted that Valve’s view has remained constant throughout Steam’s history, despite other online stores charging lower percentages.

According to the ruling, “Therefore, it would seem that the market reality is, at minimum as plead is that [Valve’s] fee is commensurate the Steam Platform’s value for game publishers.”

The judgment cites other precedents and legal points, but the bottom line says that Wolfire’s lawsuit does not contain sufficient facts to allege an antitrust violation based on the market.

Accordingly, Valve’s motion for dismissal of the lawsuit was granted in part. Wolfire now has 30 days to amend the complaint to correct the cited deficiencies and then resubmit it. I have reached out to Valve & Wolfre for comments on the case and will update this post if I get a response.

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Janine Joubert

About the Author: Janine Joubert

I am the Writer Working for The Daily News Global. I love to keep our readers updated with the latest Gaming News from all around the world without worrying about it.

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