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.
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
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