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Polish regulators to investigate PS Store and Steam for anti-competitive practices

An inspection has already taken place at Sony's headquarters in Poland

Poland's Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has launched a preliminary investigation into digital game platforms including Steam and the PlayStation Store for anti-competitive practices.

The regulator revealed that an inspection has taken place at Sony's headquarters in Poland, in addition to two unnamed video game developers and publishers.

Evidence collected will be investigated for signs of anti-competitive practices, such as "prohibited agreements or abuse of a dominant position by providers of digital distribution platforms for video games."

The UOKiK highlighted that the effect of engaging in these practices could harm consumers by excluding competing platforms, the exploitation of developers and publishers, and higher prices for players.

If the evidence indicates anti-competitive practices have taken place, the firms could face fines of up to 10% of their annual earnings. Managers involved could face a fine of up to PLN 2 million ($507,000).

"The digital game distribution market is displacing traditional sales," said UOKiK president Tomasz Chróstny.

"Gamers are increasingly less likely to buy games in boxes but are sourcing digital copies on online sales platforms. At the same time, we see that there may be restrictive practices by major players in this market."

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Sophie McEvoy avatar
Sophie McEvoy: Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at GamesIndustry.biz. She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.
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