EA Attracts Legal Attention From Aussie Watchdog Over Refund Policy

Electronic Arts has provided the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) with a court enforceable undertaking today saying that the refunds policy on its Origin digital games platform were likely to have breached Australian Consumer Law.

The enforceable undertaking is slightly different to ACCC actions in the past, which have involved extracting fines from the likes of Apple and TPG. It's not unheard of, but represents another tool in the watchdog's belt to tackle potential breaches of the Australian Consumer Law.

The enforceable undertaking means that EA has agreed to uphold the rights of Australian consumers in regards to refunds, but doesn't mean that EA has admitted any wrongdoing to the court or the regulator.

In a statement, the ACCC said that "in the undertaking, EA acknowledged that representations it made to consumers about their rights to refunds and the application of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) consumer guarantees were likely to have breached the ACL".

The ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, said of the undertaking:

Businesses such as EA selling digitally downloadable goods cannot avoid their responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law just because they are located outside of Australia.

Apple, Aldi Mobile and Maggie Beer have all provided enforceable undertakings to the court in the past.

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