Originally Posted by Jet Black
I likely don't understand the definition of "monopoly power" or I don't disagree with it because I think that Steam has put themselves in a position where they are the best, but they are not unbeatable nor are they unchallenged.
I guess where I'm lost is why does someone get to sue someone else because they are the best at something? If they have a superior service and want to charge more for it and have contracts that stipulate controls, as a developer (or publisher) I'm still free to take it or leave it. I don't know retail that well, but I'm sure it's similar. I can't afford to pay for the front kiosk, eye-level display at the best store, so I won't sell as well. Or I do pay more and sell lots. Should we be suing retail for this because they are controlling what sells and hence the market?
Let's break it down. Can a developer choose not to release on Steam? No... Not really. They are giving up too many customers That Will Never Buy from anyone else. Most games will never break even without steam, let alone be successful. Steam has monopoly power.
Now, because you MUST release on steam, they can dictate any terms they want. The terms they dictate are a high cut of your revenue and other terms that you would likely never agree to if you had real choice in the market.
Steam could demand 40% and it wouldn't change anything but generate some bad PR. No publisher would walk away because they can't if they want to stay in business.
The suit is designed to get the court to determine that steam has monopoly power AND is using it the cement their dominance, ultimately hurting the industry and ultimately consumers. Once that happens then the department of Justice and/or the courts would impose changes to their terms or operating scheme so that they can't abuse their dominant position.
Basically this is exactly the sort of things that antitrust law was created to deal with. The fact that we are all used to it doesn't make it good.
Now, maybe the courts decide that valve is doing nothing harmful and let it go. Until you actually have discovery and the arguments you can't say. The problem with becoming dominent in your industry is that you are held to a higher standard.