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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."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

April 20, 2018

1 Min Read

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."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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