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Valve AU Fine Upheld

Australian Federal Court has denied an appeal by Valve over a three million dollar fine levied against the developer/publisher for breach of Australian consumer protection laws. This root problem was remedied after a proper Steam refund system was put into place, but according to iTWire (thanks PCGamesN via RedEye9), they still must pay the penalty:

The Federal Court had found in 2016 that Valve was subject to Australian Consumer Law and ordered it to pay the penalty. The company is based in the US.

"The full court found Valve carried on business in Australia, and was therefore bound by Australian Consumer Law in its dealings with customers here,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“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.”

The ACCC began its legal action against Valve in August 2014. In 2016, the Federal Court found that Valve had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations and the same year it was ordered to pay penalties of $3 million.

The ACCC also made a cross appeal in relation to representations made by Valve in online chats to individual consumers, but this was dismissed.

The trial judge had previously found these representations were not misleading, in part because the consumers had asserted their rights under Australian Consumer Law, and were therefore not likely to be misled.

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7. Re: Valve AU Fine Upheld Dec 22, 2017, 22:33 Numinar
 
Yep, in case anyone is confused "Evil communist nation with 'red tape' and 'regulations' crippling their businesses and making their population lazy and drunk, forced a large multinational to adopt a disgusting, invasive 'consumer friendly refund pllicy' throughout the world." Thanks Australia!

That said, I wonder how the refund policy affects developers making small, sub 2-hour games. Are they putting in padding where none was needed or adding unnecessary features (Broken online multiplayer in twitch-based local games was a thing for a while) in order to circumvent it? Or do they just charge a low enough amount that people can't be bothered to request the refund?

 
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  1. Dec 22, 11:41 Re: Valve AU Fine Upheld Prez
  2. Dec 22, 13:27  Re: Valve AU Fine Upheld eRe4s3r
  3. Dec 22, 15:43  Re: Valve AU Fine Upheld Mgshadow
  4. Dec 22, 16:36   Re: Valve AU Fine Upheld Armengar
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>> 7. Dec 22, 22:33 Re: Valve AU Fine Upheld Numinar


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