Video gaming platform Steam faces significant lawsuit from UK consumers 

Consumer advocacy law firm has secured funding for a group action against online gaming giant

Online video game platform Steam faces a lawsuit from UK consumers accusing the digital gaming platform of excessive prices and anti-competitive behaviour. 

Consumer Voice has learnt that Milberg London, a leading consumer advocacy law firm, has secured substantial funding from Bench Walk Advisors to take legal action against Valve Corporation. The proposed lawsuit, on behalf of Steam users in the UK, accuses Valve Corporation of excessive and anti-competitive pricing on Steam. 

Steam – developed and owned by the Value Corporation – is a big name in the gaming world and one of the most popular gaming platforms around. It provides an online platform for buying, storing and playing games, and engaging with other gamers.

Natasha Pearman, a partner and head of competition litigation at Milberg London, said:

‘We believe that Valve has used its market power in a way which is detrimental to consumers and has led to them being overcharged for games and in-game content on the Steam platform.’

Funding secured for prominent campaigner to file lawsuit 

Milberg has secured substantial funding from legal finance experts Bench Walk Advisors to launch the claim against Valve in relation to its Steam gaming platform. 

The claim will be fronted by Vicki Shotbolt, a prominent campaigner for children’s digital rights, who will seek to represent Steam users in the UK. Shotbolt intends to file the collective action with the competition court, the Competition Appeal Tribunal, in the coming weeks. 

Pearman said: ‘Our commitment to consumer rights and fair competition drives us to support Vicki to take this action against Valve Corporation. Competition law is there to protect consumers with a voice and way of holding big companies to account. We’re delighted to be working with Vicki as we challenge the status quo and hold Valve to account for potential infringements of competition law and seek compensation for consumers.’

Gaming giant accused of behaving anti-competitively

The lawsuit will accuse Valve Corporation of practices that have resulted in inflated prices for digital games on its Steam platform and price parity clauses that have restricted game developers offering better prices on other platforms.

Berkeley Research Group (BRG) will provide the economic analysis in relation to the claim, including assessing the effects of Valve’s conduct and resultant inflated prices paid by consumers in the digital gaming industry. Competition law barristers Robert Palmer KC, Julian Gregory and Will Perry of Monckton Chambers have been instructed.

Law firm takes on the gaming industry

Once filed, this will be the second competition claim for Milberg London in the gaming sector, the first being the £5 billion claim I am fronting against Sony Playstation for its abuse of dominance.

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