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

Image: Supplied

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 Australian Federal Court Has Fined Valve $3 Million

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

Steam No Longer Accepting Bitcoin Payments For Video Games

Today Valve announced it will no longer be accepting Bitcoin as currency on the Steam store.

This follows a series of rapid Bitcoin growth. After recently tipping the $US10,000US mark in late November, Bitcoin lost approximately 20 per cent of its value, but promptly fought back. Roughly one week later Bitcoin is sitting at $US13,000.

Read more

WATCH MORE: Gaming News


Comments

    Ok, so how is Australia going to get a US company to pay a fine here?

      The same way that they have to legally apply to have the right to sell goods here. If Valve chose not to pay the fine, then they could be forced to stop supplying Steam service to Australia.

      Which would be bad for all of us. GO AUSSIES!

        It would be more damaging to Steam if they didn't pay it. The loss of income from the 2.2 million Steam users would be far more damaging than the AU$3 million.

      They'd make more than $3m in profits annually easily. They'll pay the fine so they can continue to.

      International Banking Agreements have way too many options available to force payment of legally bound payments. Refusing to pay is not an option when its a court ruling, at the end of the day prove either legally disastrous or financial suicide to refuse to pay after already contesting it.

      Only way to avoid paying is to declare your whole company bankrupt.

    I doubt much will come of it, but it's good that they're being held accountable for their business practices.

      Not only Valve, but any other overseas companies who think they can hide from our consumer legislation.

        Overseas websites can quite easily hide from our consumer laws. As long as they are located outside australia they can ignore our laws without any consequence. Our courts only have legal jurisdiction inside australia.

          You... realise that the exact opposite has just been reported in this article, yeah???

            No, It hasnt.

            Valve will comply with the order because they want to contie to do buisness here as Australia represents a large portion of their income. Valve is also a big company and being seen to ignore such an order would look bad for then in other countries. Especially the US.

            A smaller company/ Website however could just ignore such a court order.

Join the discussion!