ICYMI: The Australian Federal Court Says Yep - Valve Misled Gamers Alright

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Last Friday the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia dismissed an appeal by Valve against a ruling that it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct - and made false or misleading representations about consumer guarantees.

Valve's appeal against a $3 million penalty was also dismissed.

The ACCC began its legal action against Valve in August 2014. This most recent appeal was in relation to a 2016 ruling by the Federal Court. The court found that although Valve is based in the United States, it does have to comply with Australian Consumer Law. At the same time, Valve was ordered to pay a $3 million penalty.

"The Full Court found Valve carried on business in Australia, and was therefore bound by the Australian Consumer Law in its dealings with customers here," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

Valve has 2.2 million Australian subscriber accounts on Steam platform.

"The Full Court also upheld the finding that Valve made misleading representations about consumer guarantees and that certain terms and conditions in the Steam subscriber agreements and refund policies were false or misleading."

Sims says this case sets an important precedent that overseas-based companies that sell to Australians must abide by our law.

"All goods come with automatic consumer guarantees that they are of acceptable quality and fit for the purpose for which they were sold, even if the business is based overseas," Sims said.

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Comments

    And while they may be slightly annoyed I bet they are laughing at the paltry amount the fine is.

      they need to have made $1.30 off each of their Aussie customers to pay this fine.

    In light of this ruling I think you'll find many online traders selling to Australians might start thinking twice about it.

      Thats the best part, ACCC took on a big name to set judicial precident to uphold consumer rights on "services".

      The best parts were Valve didnt take it seriously until a court date was set (refusing to respond to any ACCC attempts to contact them), that put them in a terrible atarting position... so then shortly after added refunds to Stean realising they needed to make an effort to defend themselves from that case and a EU case that was brewing too.

      Not really. As long as they are located outside australia and dont have anything based here they could basically ignore any ruling as it only has juristiction in Australia, Not any other country. At the most our government could go to the WTC but that would not be worth it for just a website.

    When are the ACCC going after Sony Playstation network and it's no refund policy. I've had worse consumer experience with Sony then Valve over the years. They only offer store credit for buggy broken games and not an actual refund.

      They do refunds, albeit that they can be real bastards about seeing it through.

      If you have problems, contact the ACCC, Sony trades in Australia

      If you haven't yet, write to the ACCC. Unless someone tells them, they'll never know.

    I have to wonder where those 3m will go to. Certainly not to the customers, I imagine.

      For Gaben to have a bath with. He is a big boy after all.

    In response, valve will likely delay implementing Australian currency on steam by another year.

    On the one hand it's a great win for the consumer. On the other, it means we get GST on overseas purchases.

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