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Thread: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    @Saracen I wasn't saying car insurance should be the same, I was using it as an example of where when something was sensibly priced differently (based on actuarial stats as you explain, and unlike a game which has no reason being different) the action when compelled to harmonise pricing was simply to make everything the more expensive figure, rather than reduce men's premiums. Ergo what do we reckon will happen here?

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    as the article I previously linked to:
    We could go around in circles on this one, I think you'll find the political integration part was for East / West Germany. Don't ask me though, I only studied in Germany on a student swap program well over 30 years ago.

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    @Saracen I wasn't saying car insurance should be the same, I was using it as an example of where when something was sensibly priced differently (based on actuarial stats as you explain, and unlike a game which has no reason being different) the action when compelled to harmonise pricing was simply to make everything the more expensive figure, rather than reduce men's premiums. Ergo what do we reckon will happen here?
    They haven't been told to harmonise pricing, they can still charge a different price in France to that in Poland.

    What they can't do is stop people buying it in Poland and then using it in France using geo blocking or similar techniques.

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Iota View Post
    I'm referring to the EEC (as quoted, which is when we joined), which was founded with the Treaty of Rome, it morphed with the Maastricht Treaty and the Treaty of Lisbon. The actual original intent of the ESCS was Franco-German co-operation to avoid potential further conflicts as far as I'm aware.
    The history of the objective of European integration and unification goes back way beyond that. At least, to Napoleon and Victor Hugo. Even in the UK it was supported as widely as Oswald Moseley and Churchill. The rather loose phrase of the United States of Europe runs throughout, but hugely predates even WW1 let alone WW2. Even Churchill was on-side, up to a point, with formal statements back in 1930.

    It certainly predates German re-unification because, in the early days, Germany had yet to be partitioned by the WW2 outcome. it was about a much broader prevention of european conflict than that.

    Though again, even back in 1930, the different UK perspective was evident in Churchill's comments
    We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonality. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not compromised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed.
    And even today, if we can get past the bile and dissembling of the Brexit campaign, on both sides, that is the philosophical core of the Brexit position and certainly of mine.

    By the time we get to Maastricht (which, by the way, is the Treaty of Rome, just with a name change and a fresh lick of paint), let alone the TFEU/TEU duality, the core principle, political integration, has not changed in essence since Hugo and Napolean, is reflected by the Schuman Declaration, is in the formation of the EEC/EC/Common Market, whatever we call it, and the broadening of the Common Market into the nomenclature of the EU, a "single market" are still the same thing as that original Napoleonic objective, with the market being the "gradual" steps to unification, not of West and East Germany, but of Europe.

    It is and always has been a unification project. It was when the USE was first mentioned, when Heath took us (UK) in in the 70's, and he admitted it some years later. And still is. The single market, for all the advantages (and some disadvantages) is as much or more about being a tool, and necessary component, of unification than an end in it's own right, albeit a necessary but not sufficent one. All the original "principals" in those early pre-Rome Treaty meetings of the initial six are long gone, but one of the senior advisors that had been in the room at the time said only a handful of years ago that yes, the objective, ultimately, was unification and the creation of a single state, not merely trade cooperation. Hence, the Churchillian "with but not of" and "associated but not absorbed" remarks.

    I can understand why Heath ... 'dissembled' ... to take us in. Had he not, he wouldn't have got away with it. The irony, though, is that had Major, and to some degree Brown, not done the same thing decades later, the ultimate exit referendum likely would never have happened.

    But, recent events aside, the unification objective way precedes not only Maastricht and Lisbon, but also precedes Benelux, the ECSC and, therefore, the Rome treaty too. They merely put the initial stages into legalese, and formalised the early stages of the unification project. Which, in my opinion, would not be a problem to this day, and going forward, if the likes of Heath had had the decency to be honest about it. One of the most poisonous aspects of this whole debacle has been the monumental level of deceit by our (and I mean UK, as most continental politicians have been somewhat more open) leaders.

    And that's the extent of my comments because first, it isn't a Brexit thread, and second, I'm too bored with it to waste any more time on Brexit.
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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    I can understand why Heath ... 'dissembled' ... to take us in. Had he not, he wouldn't have got away with it. The irony, though, is that had Major, and to some degree Brown, not done the same thing decades later, the ultimate exit referendum likely would never have happened.
    I agree, as mentioned earlier. And at those moments we could have shaped things better. Remember the furore about Ireland's referendum on one of the votes - I think it was Lisbon? If we had done the same we could have put the brakes on and kept the benefits of the trade block etc.

    I don't think anyone is trying to make this a Brexit thread, but it's inevitable some discussion of EU/EC regs and rulings will continue for some time yet as we watch on either in envy, or glad it doesn't affect us. TBH most of their rulings will continue to affect us in terms of product standards etc. We will just not get the benefit of any decent laws on GDPR, data, roaming charges, employment law etc etc. It seems unavoidable though that we won't hear about their rulings and either ask why our hoover motors have shrunk again, our cars got even heavier, or why we are being charged so much when we go on holiday when we never used to.

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    The history of the objective of European integration and unification goes back way beyond that. At least, to Napoleon and Victor Hugo. Even in the UK it was supported as widely as Oswald Moseley and Churchill. The rather loose phrase of the United States of Europe runs throughout, but hugely predates even WW1 let alone WW2. Even Churchill was on-side, up to a point, with formal statements back in 1930.

    It certainly predates German re-unification because, in the early days, Germany had yet to be partitioned by the WW2 outcome. it was about a much broader prevention of european conflict than that.
    Ah, now this is informative, thank you Saracen.

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Iota View Post
    We could go around in circles on this one, I think you'll find the political integration part was for East / West Germany. Don't ask me though, I only studied in Germany on a student swap program well over 30 years ago.
    I won't ask you as you clearly don't know!

    edit: sry just read that back - wasn't meant to sound as arsey as it does...
    Last edited by ik9000; 23-01-2021 at 09:39 PM.

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Aside from the drift into whether you agree with the EU or not, I really think that it's important to have location based pricing (and blocking others access to it otherwise it wont be location based). Game devs/steam arent selling at low prices normally and jacking it up for countries with higher income, more they have a normal price and they are reducing it to allow generally lower income countries to afford it at about the same proportion of their wage and be included with others. I think preventing it from happening would be a major issue for some countries.

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    I agree, as mentioned earlier. And at those moments we could have shaped things better. Remember the furore about Ireland's referendum on one of the votes - I think it was Lisbon? If we had done the same we could have put the brakes on and kept the benefits of the trade block etc.

    I don't think anyone is trying to make this a Brexit thread, but it's inevitable some discussion of EU/EC regs and rulings will continue for some time yet as we watch on either in envy, or glad it doesn't affect us. TBH most of their rulings will continue to affect us in terms of product standards etc. We will just not get the benefit of any decent laws on GDPR, data, roaming charges, employment law etc etc. It seems unavoidable though that we won't hear about their rulings and either ask why our hoover motors have shrunk again, our cars got even heavier, or why we are being charged so much when we go on holiday when we never used to.
    We'll only have to comply with EU product standards when exporting those products into the EU, in the same way the rest of the planet does, and the way the EU has to comply with US, Australian, standards when exporting there. My guess is on product standards it's likely we will. voluntarily, stay pretty closely in-sync, not least because our own standards have traditionally been high, often driving up EU standards. But if we export anywhere else, we have to comply with that market's standards. I'd guess we'll probably also quite happily implement consistent data protection rules, consumer protection laws, etc, which is another area in which much of our domestic law already was ahead of EU law. In many aspects of EU consumer protection, what they're currently doing is trying to level up, between countries like Germany (and the UK until recently) and former Soviet satellite countries. In the future, once levelled up, then the drive may well refocus on raising common standards, like to the 7 years we have had for SoGA cases since at least the 1979 Act, and where EU-wide standards, still, are two years. They have a way to go to catch up. On the other hand, the EU certainly raised our standards, with enthusiastic help from here, on the DSR, etc. It's a mixed bag, and nothing stops us tracking EU syandards where we agree with those standards, and there will be pressure here to do so.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    New products won't be made just for the UK market. They'll make them for EU and we will get the same. So if EU says Hoover fans get halved in power that's what we'll get. Same with cars and crash safety, etc. We don't have to follow it but the products will change and that is what we'll end up with.

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    I wonder if they pay the fine and continue they policy.

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Most likely yes, that's what EA tend to do when they get fined for loot boxes etc in the past (not to mention companies in other sectors!). The fines are a drop in the ocean compared to the profits they'll get by not changing policies.
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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by DevDrake View Post
    I wonder if they pay the fine and continue they policy.
    If they do that there are further things that can (and probably will) be done. Steadily increasing fines will be the first step. The court can order them to stop the practice. If they then ignore that they are breaking a whole new set of laws with further increased punishments allowed etc.
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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    New products won't be made just for the UK market. They'll make them for EU and we will get the same. So if EU says Hoover fans get halved in power that's what we'll get. Same with cars and crash safety, etc. We don't have to follow it but the products will change and that is what we'll end up with.
    That depends on the manufacturer, and the product. Not everybody manufacturing is either a foreign or foreign-owned car manufacturer exporting to Europe as a whole. Plenty of small manufacturers produce for the UK market only. Yet others produce to export to the US, or Asia, South America, etc.

    Anybody manufacturing either for the UK market, or for non-EU markets has the option to ignore EU rules. Anyone previously marketing products in, say, Asia online is going to want to manufacture to market demand in that market, regardless of what EU rules are and, of course, if you're exporting to the US you'll need to meet FCC criteria, not EU ones.

    Granted, larger manufacturers may wish to minimise stock lines by meeting, for example, EU and US rules but, again, that won't apply to huge numbers of small manufacturers.

    So yes, some products will be made for the UK market. A friend of mine runs a company doing exactly that. He has neither the inclination, nor rersources, to export to the EU, or anybody else. He doesn't even sell to the whole of the UK because to do so would require UK-wide support staff and he isn't that big, and doesn't want the complications or risk expanding to that degree would require.
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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    New products won't be made just for the UK market. They'll make them for EU and we will get the same. So if EU says Hoover fans get halved in power that's what we'll get. Same with cars and crash safety, etc. We don't have to follow it but the products will change and that is what we'll end up with.
    Should the EU reduce vacuum motors to 450W and the UK does not follow suit, the continued availability of 900W vacuum cleaners in the UK would come down to market forces. If you wanted a bespoke 900W vacuum cleaner enough, a UK company could build and sell you one without breaking the law.

    Not every product has a development cost that can only be recouped by spreading thinly over a high volume / low margin, international, mass market. The UK is not well suited to mass market manufacture anyhow, due to the cost of land over here making it difficult to compete internationally on price alone.

    One of the criticisms of EU membership was the raft of conformity regulation introduced in the 90s created a layer of compliance management overheads that favour larger corporations, contributing to the decline of the UK's short-run (low volume / high margin) electronics manufacturing sector that had previously been thriving. The UKs inshore fisherman were all het up for a similar reason. The inshore boats are all that is left of the UK fleet after determined efforts by EU and UK politicians to offshore the business to the big players on the continent. The inshore fleet didn't just survive the onslaught, they adapted and started growing. The latest round of the CFP had *our* small boat skippers targetted for termination by paperwork.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    Unfortunately for the insurance industry, they fell foul of the politically correct perspective of politicians who stuck their heads firmly where neither the view nor smell were very good 9as per usual) and decided that gender was a protected characteristic for discrimination laws.
    The insurance industry fell foul of the ECJ. The Belgian equivalent of Which magazine challenged the Belgian government's transposition of EU directive into National law. The ECJ found against the Belgian politicians and by implication, all other elected governments in member states with similar 'objective measure' exceptions in their Equality laws.

    Immediately prior to the ECJ judgement being implemented, on average men were paying £30 more in premiums than women for otherwise similar proposals. 5 years later the disparity had climbed to £100. Seems in this age of rich data-trading the insurance companies are more than capable of interpolating gender.

    Motor insurance is a utility in all but name, thanks to it being a mandatory requirement. Video games are a commodity and whatever Steam do will be decided by market forces. Removing geo-blocking has a similar effect to the Euro. For the revenue to grow the cost to the consumer has to be averaged up. The Czechs can not quickly raise wages and the cost of living, so the losers will be the least well off who can no longer afford the luxury. That too has a parallel in UK society in so far as many of the benefits lauded as available to EU citizens were inaccessible to a growing number of Brits who simply couldn't afford to take advantage of them. If Cameron wanted to win the referendum he shouldn't have called it at the height of Osborne's ill conceived austerity plan.

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    Re: European Commission fines Valve for Steam geo-blocking

    Quote Originally Posted by Gentle Viking View Post
    I think EU are fins in its original purpose ( a organization for trade )
    What it have evolved into a am firmly against.
    True, until we see more evidence of the later that is

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