Judge brings dismissed Steam antitrust lawsuit back from the dead

Judge brings dismissed Steam antitrust lawsuit back from the dead

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich Lawson)

Last November, Western District of Washington Judge John Coughenour sided with Valve in dismissing a Steam antitrust lawsuit that had been filed by indie developer (and Humble Bundle creator) Wolfire Games. Now, that same judge is showing new respect for Wolfire’s arguments, allowing parts of an amended version of the complaint to move forward.

In a May 6 ruling (noted by Bloomberg Law), Judge Coughenour said that the allegations in Wolfire’s initial lawsuit were “anecdotal and threadbare” but that an amended lawsuit “provides additional context” and lays out a case that is “sufficient to plausibly allege unlawful conduct.” As such, the judge has refused to dismiss large parts of that amended case, letting it move forward through the long judicial process.

Now I see it

In his original ruling, Judge Coughenour dismissed Wolfire’s claims that Steam’s 30 percent fee to publishers was higher than what the company would take in a more competitive market. At the time, the judge noted that Steam’s fees had remained the same from its launch in 2003 through its alleged “market dominance” in 2013 and beyond.

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