German agency calls Steam license agreement ‘coercive’

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Screenshot of Steam (taken 8/8/2012)

Video game publisher Valve’s giant digital-gaming portal Steam faces scrutiny in Germany over its end-user license agreement.

When agreed to, the EULA strips Steam customers of their right to join a class-action lawsuit against Valve. If a Steam user declines the EULA, they automatically lose access to their previously purchased library of games on the service.

Germany’s Federation of Consumer Organization believes this is a coercive practice and has demanded that the company end the implementation of its current EULA. The protection agency, which includes all the German states’ independent customer-advocacy groups, previously gave Valve until September 26 to respond to its order.

According to CinemaBlend, the FCO extended the deadline to Oct. 10.

GamesBeat contacted Valve and the German Federation of Consumer Organization, but neither responded at the time of this posting.

Valve already faces legal troubles in the wider European Union. The EU passed a ruling that demands that sellers of digital goods enable a way for end users to resell those items. Germany’s consumer-protection group also hopes to force Steam to comply with that decree.