I'm willing to bet this has something to do with European taxes. Erocker is right. Valve isn't going to take the hit for the government. Its going to pass it on to the people who voted for them. Its the same all over the world.
Now could one of you guys from across the pond tell me what you pay for an Xbox360 or PS3 game? In the U.S. we average 59.99 for a console game. If you pay the same but in Euros then I know EXACTLY what happened with Valve.
The thing is console games in the U.S. were an average of 49.99 for about 10 years. Then with this "Next-gen" came out they went up 10 bucks. To me it made no sense for such a huge jack in price. Sure maybe 2 or 3 bucks for inflation but not 10.
However if you guys in Europe pay 59.99 Euros and we pay 59.99 dollars then we both are getting screwed because the manufactures are playing "fair" with the consumer. Basically we both are paying more than what the game is "worth" so that the console makers are not playing favorites with a country by keeping the prices the "same". If any of you guys know marketing or have been involved with it you know exactly what's going on.
This is assuming you pay the same sticker price only in Euros. The difference with Valve is they don't care. They set thier games at one cost and pass any duties/taxes on to the customer. They seem like the bad guys doing this but they are really just being true to the customer. This is something I can respect but its HORRIBLE marketing.
Again I dont know what prices you guys pay but if you pay the same sticker than what I said I bet holds true.