Recently, the Valve Corporation had its special leave to appeal application dismissed by the High Court of Australia.
The application was an attempt to appeal the decision the Australian Federal Court made in December of last year, which upheld an Australian judge’s finding that Valve had been in breach of Australian Consumer Law regarding their refund policy.
In 2014, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Valve to court regarding it’s refund policy – under Australian law, consumers have the rights to a refund for products. The ACCC alleged that, by telling Australian consumers that they were not entitled to a refund for any games sold by Valve via Steam under any circumstances, Valve had made false or misleading representations to them.
While Valve did eventually institute its own refund policy in 2015, the judge on the case eventually found in the ACCC’s favour in 2016, and Valve had been battling the decision since. As a result of the High Court’s dismissal of the special leave to appeal application, the initial finding that Valve is bound by Australian Consumer Law remains intact, and is the final decision on the issue.
“This important precedent confirms the ACCC’s view that overseas-based companies selling to Australian consumers must abide by our laws,” Said 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.”
As part of the finding, Valve must pay a $3 million dollar penalty, and advertise the results of the court case. A link to the required statement may be currently found at the bottom of the Steam home page, and and image of the direct statement may be found below.
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