Australian High Court orders Valve to pay $2.4M fine over misleading refund policy

"This important precedent confirms the view that overseas-based companies selling to Australian consumers must abide by our laws."

The High Court of Australia has ordered Valve to pay a $2.4 million fine after deciding the U.S. company's refund policy was intentionally misleading. 

Valve's fight against the Australian authorities began back in 2014, when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) sued the Steam maker for failing to provide a proper refund policy. 

Following a lengthy legal battle, the Federal Court found Valve guilty of breaching consumer law by intentionally excluding statutory guarantees and modifying warranties.

Valve was fined $2.4 million as a result, but quickly appealed to the Full Court in a bid to overturn the ruling. 

After having that appeal rejected, the company tried again, this time applying to the High Court for "special leave" in another attempt to overturn the decision.  

The High Court, however, has today dismissed that appeal, leaving Valve with no other option but to pay the fine. 

"This important precedent confirms the ACCC's view that overseas-based companies selling to Australian consumers must abide by our laws," commented ACCC commissioner, Sarah Court.

"If customers buy a product online that is faulty, they are entitled to the same right to a repair, replacement or refund as if they'd walked in to a store."

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