The Federal Court fined Valve $3 million late last year, but the legal stoush between the Valve and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is far from over.
In an release earlier this afternoon, the ACCC announced that it had filed a cross-appeal against two findings in the case relating to statements made by Valve employees to users.
Justice Edelman ruled that Valve staff did not mislead consumers in online chats to individual consumers “in part because the consumers correctly asserted their rights under the Australian Consumer Law to Valve,” the competition regulator said. The ACCC is challenging that ruling, with the Full Federal Court to hear the submission (along with Valve’s appeal against the $3 million fine) at a later date.
In a hearing earlier this afternoon, the Federal Court has fined Valve $3 million over breaches of Australian consumer law for their lack of an advertised refund policy on Steam from 2011 to 2014.Read more
“Although I have proceeded on the basis that it is possible that a consumer can be likely to be misled even if the consumer was not misled, it is apparent from the conversations as a whole that none of the three consumers was misled or likely to be misled by any of the alleged representations even if they had been made,” Justice Edelman wrote in his judgement.
He later added in his conclusion that while “the conduct of Valve’s Steam Support representatives in online chats did not contravene” Australian consumer law, the competition regulator “did not bring a case that the statements” shown in court by the support staff were misleading, and that “the different circumstances of other consumers seeking refunds, including particular questions asked by those consumers and answers given, might well have led to a different result”.
Logs of the chats between users and the Steam support staff can be read in the judgement on the Federal Court website. The court also ordered Valve to impose a notice appearing to any user that logs into Steam or the Steam website from an Australian IP, informing them about Australian consumer rights in “at least 14 point Times New Roman” and linking to the Federal Court judgement.