A writer for the website Steam Unpowered has claimed Valve is violating an EU consumer law by having two sets of prices for Dead Island Four Pack between the EU and the UK, while disallowing EU buyers to take advantage of the lower UK price. The user Frederique Piccart called out Valve on the pricing, posting it on the Dead Island forum on the Steam website, only to have it removed in short order, meaning Valve is deleting a well-cited criticism of their service.
On his blog, he presents a spreadsheet in both Google Doc and Spreadsheet format that shows the price of Dead Island in pounds, dollars, and Euros. The sheet also compares by seven regions including Russia, showing the highest and lowest prices in a crystal-clear fashion with cited screenshots and release dates.
The entry also includes an educational video that shows how seriously the EU takes the rights of all Europeans seriously, cracking down on unfair business practices, false advertising, and deceptive offers.
What Valve is being called out on exactly is that, according to the data, Europeans cannot purchase from the Steam UK shop, which is a clear violation of the consumer rights and laws in Europe, which applies not just to the local corner shop, but online businesses.
The European Union is very strict on its clear laws, and violators can be given extremely harsh fines that can reach several million dollars or even be banned from doing business in Europe. If they don’t resolve this, I can see a very heavy class-action lawsuit in the near future.