Valve facing $839m damages in UK class action suit

Valve facing $839m damages in UK class action suit

PC games giant Valve is being sued for £656 million ($839 million) over claims that it has been overcharging consumers in the UK. 

Digital rights campaigner Vicki Shotbolt has brought the case, claiming that 14 million PC gamers in the country have been affected. Shotbolt's argument is threefold: Valve forces publishers to sign up to pricing restrictions, which influences how much they can charge for games on other platforms. 

As a result, the suit claims that this impacts consumer choice and competition. Shotbolt argues that the pricing restrictions has led to UK consumers being overcharged and publishers being forced to pay 30% of their revenue to Valve. 

"Companies who hold a dominant position in a market are not allowed to charge excessive or anti-competitive prices. They also cannot impose other unfair trading conditions that prevent or hinder others from competing with them," copy on the lawsuit's website reads.

"We believe Valve Corporation has been unfairly shutting out competition for PC games and in-game content, which has meant that UK customers have paid too much for these products." 

It continues: "Vicki accuses Valve Corporation of shutting out competition in the PC gaming market by forcing game publishers to sign up to pricing restrictions that dictate the lowest price games can be sold for on rival platforms.

"This has led to UK consumers paying too much for PC games and add-on content, and has enabled the gaming giant to continue charging an excessive commission – of up to 30% – to publishers." 

This isn't the first competition-based lawsuit that Valve has faced over the dominance of its Steam platform. The firm is currently fighting a court case brought by developer and publisher Wolfire Games over just this

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.