Steam Antitrust Action Lawsuit 2023 [Case Explained]

Have you ever bought a video game on the popular gaming platform Steam? If so, listen up! There’s an ongoing lawsuit that claims the company behind Steam, called Valve, has been unfairly charging game publishers way too much money to sell their games on Steam.

And because of this, we gamers may have been paying higher prices for PC games than we should be.

The good news is, that regular people like you and me now have a chance to take action and potentially get some money back.

Steam Antitrust Action Lawsuit 2023

Steam Antitrust Action Lawsuit

In this article, I’m going to break down what this Steam lawsuit is all about, what you can do to get involved, and how much cash you might be able to get back in your pocket.

I’ll explain it all in a way that’s easy to understand, even if you’re not a tech or legal expert.

Let’s dive in!

Key Points:

  • An antitrust lawsuit claims Steam’s owner Valve is charging publishers excessive fees.
  • This may have caused PC game prices to be higher than they should be.
  • Consumers who bought games on Steam can now take action to try to get their money back.

Steam Antitrust Lawsuit Claims Valve Harmed Publishers and Consumers

Okay, so here’s the deal with this lawsuit. It was originally filed in April 2021 by a video game publisher and a couple of Steam users.

They’re saying that Valve, the company that owns Steam, is acting like a monopoly and abusing its power in a way that harms both game publishers and consumers.

You see, Steam is huge in the PC gaming world. Like, pretty much everyone uses it. The lawsuit says Steam is “by far” the biggest PC desktop gaming platform out there.

So if you’re a game publisher, you pretty much have to make your games work with Steam, otherwise, a ton of potential customers won’t be able to play them.

The problem, according to the lawsuit, is that Valve makes publishers agree to some really strict and expensive terms to put their games on Steam:

  • Publishers have to sell most of their Steam games through the official Steam store.
  • Valve takes a whopping 30% commission on those sales.
  • Publishers aren’t allowed to sell their games for cheaper prices anywhere else.

Because of these rules, the lawsuit argues that publishers are stuck paying Valve’s super high 30% fee, which adds up to billions of dollars per year for Valve.

To make up for this, publishers have to raise their game prices for everyone, not just on Steam. So in the end, we gamers are the ones paying for Valve’s huge profits.

The attorneys behind this case think that because of Valve’s alleged monopoly abuse, consumers may have paid up to 60% more for PC games than they should have. That’s a big difference!

Important Details:

  • The lawsuit says Valve’s rules block competition & force publishers to charge higher prices.
  • Publishers can’t afford to invest as much in making new games due to Valve’s 30% cut.
  • Valve makes over $6 billion per year from commissions while consumers pay more.

Is This Legit? Am I Signing Up for a Lawsuit?

Now, you’re probably wondering – is this for real? Can I do something about this and get my money back? The answer is yes, this is legit, but it’s a little different than a typical lawsuit.

What you’d be signing up for is something called “mass arbitration.” This is a newer legal strategy that’s kind of like a class action lawsuit (where a big group sues a company together) but with some key differences.

In a mass arbitration, instead of going to court, a bunch of individual people file what are called arbitration claims against a company, for the same issue, at the same time.

The goal is to get compensation on a large scale, similar to a class action, but the process happens outside of court with a neutral arbitrator making decisions instead of a judge or jury.

In October 2021, the judge in charge of the original Steam antitrust lawsuit said that because of a certain clause in the Steam user agreement, individual consumers can’t sue Valve in court over this – they have to use arbitration instead.

So the lawyers working on this decided to switch strategies and do a mass arbitration.

Key Takeaways:

  • Signing up means filing an individual arbitration claim, and not joining a class action.
  • Mass arbitration allows many people to take action for the same issue at the same time.
  • The judge said Steam users have to arbitrate claims against Valve, not sue in court.

How Much Does This Cost?

Good question! The great thing is, that signing up for the mass arbitration doesn’t cost you anything upfront. You only have to pay if the lawyers win money for you.

If that happens, the lawyers will take a percentage of whatever amount you’re awarded as their fee.

The exact percentage will be laid out for you before you agree to sign up. But if they don’t end up winning your claim, you don’t owe them a dime.

So basically, you’ve got nothing to lose by signing up and potentially a good chunk of change to gain. It’s a pretty sweet deal!

To sum up:

  • Signing up is free – no upfront costs
  • Lawyers only get paid if they win money for you
  • Their fee is a percentage of your award amount
  • If they lose, you don’t pay anything

How Much Money Could I Get?

Ah, the million dollar question (hopefully!). As with any legal case, there are no guarantees of how much you could get or if your claim will succeed. A lot depends on the specific details of your situation.

However, the lawyers handling this mass arbitration believe that consumers who sign up could potentially get back as much as 60% of the total amount they’ve spent on games from the Steam store.

So for example, if you’ve bought $100 worth of games, you might be able to get $60 back.

They came up with that 60% number based on how much they think game prices have been unfairly inflated due to Valve’s alleged anticompetitive behavior. But again, the actual amount will vary from person to person and claim to claim.

One thing to keep in mind – even if the arbitration is successful, it may be a while before you see a payout.

Legal proceedings like this can take months or even years to fully resolve. But hey, it’s probably worth the wait for some extra cash you weren’t expecting!

Key Points:

  • No guarantees, but you could potentially get up to 60% of your total Steam purchases back
  • The actual amount will depend on your specific situation
  • Even successful claims may take a while to pay out – patience is key!


Whew, that was a lot of info! Let’s recap the key points:

  • Steam’s owner Valve is being accused of antitrust violations that have raised game prices
  • Mass arbitration is happening to help consumers get money back
  • It’s free to sign up and you only pay a percentage of the proceeds if you win
  • You could get up to 60% of your Steam purchases refunded

Hopefully, this article has helped clarify what’s going on with this whole Steam lawsuit situation and how you can get involved.

It may seem complicated, but the bottom line is if you’ve bought PC games from Steam, it’s probably worth your time to sign up for the mass arbitration. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose and you could wind up with a nice chunk of change back in your pocket!

Remember, even small actions like this can help hold big companies accountable and push for positive change in the gaming industry.

So don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself as a consumer. You’ve got a whole bunch of other gamers right there with you. Game on!

Key Takeaways:

  • The Steam antitrust lawsuit claims consumers have been overcharged for PC games
  • You can join a mass arbitration to potentially get up to 60% of your money back
  • It’s free to sign up with no risk – you only pay if you win
  • Every consumer who takes action helps hold companies accountable

Thanks for sticking with me through this whole explanation. I know it’s not the most exciting topic, but it’s so important for us to stay informed about this stuff.

If you’ve got any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. And if you do decide to sign up for the mass arbitration, best of luck! May the odds be ever in your favor.

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