Valve Facing Potential $3m Fine For Breaking Australian Consumer Law
Australians have a right to a refund for faulty or defective goods, and video games are no exception.
Back in March 2016, Valve Corporation was found guilty by the Australian Federal Court of breaching Australian consumer law due to its long-running lack of a refund policy.
Charges were filed against Valve by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 2014, claiming that the company misleads Australian consumers in its Steam Subscriber Agreement and two versions of its Steam Refund Policy. Australian consumers have a legal right to a refund in the case that they’re sold a faulty or defective product, and for years Valve did not honor this right to the court’s standards.
Valve’s primary defense centered around the fact that it doesn’t officially conduct business in Australia, rather it operates in Seattle and simply doesn’t restrict Australians’ access to the service. Unfortunately for Valve, the court didn’t agree.
Presiding council for the ACCC, Naomi Sharp has argued that Valve should be fined $3 million "in order to achieve both specific and general deterrents, and also because of the serious nature of the conduct," reports Kotaku Australia today.
When directly questioned about whether Valve would resist any penalties handed down by the court, Valves attorney stated they had "no instructions that Valve at this time will resist the enforcement overseas of any of your Honour’s orders."
Presiding Justice Edelman informed the court that a final ruling on penalties and any potential injunction would be handed down by mid-December, or January.
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