The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday imposed a fine on the American software company Valve, known from game platform Steam, and on five other game publishers.

Together they have to pay 7.8 million euros because of geo-blocking.

As a result, it was not always possible for customers to purchase and activate games due to their current location.

That is contrary to European rules.

Valve will be fined 1.6 million euros for geo-blocking.

The same amount must also be paid by ZeniMax.

The highest fine is for the French Focus Home (2.9 million euros).

The Japanese companies BANDAI NAMCO and Capcom have also been fined (for 340,000 euros and 396,000 euros respectively) and the Austrian Koch Media (977,000 euros).

According to EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager (Competition), the measures against the publishers "serve as a reminder that under European competition rules it is prohibited for companies to contractually restrict cross-border sales".

"They deprive European consumers of the benefits of the digital single market and of the ability to search for the best deals in the European Union."

The publishers who participated in the EC's investigation received a lower fine.

Only Valve refused to cooperate, so that the fine for that publisher was higher.