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Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal

Business Insider Australia reports Valve has lost its legal appeal over the $3 million AUD fine they were hit with in late 2016 over Steam's refund policies. Here's the summary:

The Federal Court found in the ACCC’s favour in March 2016, fining the company $3 million in December of that year.

The Court found Steam’s terms and conditions, and refund policies, included false or misleading representations about consumers’ rights to obtain a refund for games if they were not of acceptable quality.

Justice Edelman was scathing in his judgment, saying “Valve’s culture of compliance was, and is, very poor” and its evidence “disturbing”.

Valve “formed a view …that it was not subject to Australian law… and with the view that even if advice had been obtained that Valve was required to comply with the Australian law the advice might have been ignored” and also “contested liability on almost every imaginable point”.

In December last year, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia dismissed Valve Corporation’s appeal against a ruling.

Valve had sought special leave to appeal that decision in the High Court, which today dismissed that application.

The High Court decision means the original fine stands.

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31 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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31. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 21, 2018, 07:26 KilrathiAce
 
Gabe laughs are AU and uses the $3m he had on toilet roll to pay with.  
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30. Re: Stockholm Apr 20, 2018, 21:27 Mr. Tact
 
RedEye9 wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 18:09:
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 17:00:
It was a while before I had anything but HL3 on Steam.
I'll bite. Is the game any good and how do I go about getting my key because I already bought the Silver Half Life bundle.
Haha. Wow, I can't believe I typed that. I would say it was a Freudian slip, but I can't see how it could be. In reality I simply skimmed over his post and thought/assumed he said "Half-life" and derped away... how I managed to type HL3 when I was thinking "Half-life" I have no idea. Can't even claim to have been drunk, been a couple of months now since I've had any alcohol.

This comment was edited on Apr 20, 2018, 21:41.
 
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29. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 20:14 CJ_Parker
 
phorce phed wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 18:49:
Steam is not high availability. Goes down every Tuesday evening for maintenance (which can sometimes last an hour or more) and goes down randomly plenty of other times. The weekly outages even include the Store and Community Market pieces, which is something that still kind of blows my mind: If you had a money printing machine would you ever turn it off?

Yeah, and what is also ridiculous is that it is supposed to update at 10:00 AM PST/PDT every day, right? Except it doesn't. It also takes a good hour, or more sometimes, before all the changes have properly propagated to the client, e.g. sales that are no longer active, featured games etc.

Every fucking amateur website on the net simply gets updated and immediately has the new content available if you click refresh.
Too hard for Valve, of course.
It usually takes until at least 11:00 AM PST/PDT before all the updates stick.

Until then you have this wonky mess where you have full price games under 'sales' because they were but now are no longer on sale or new featured sales where you click on the link and it takes you to a page where it shows the full price instead of the sales price etc.

You can also forget about browsing any lists like the specials list because when you click on 'back' then you get some old cached page instead of the updated shit. Or you click 'back' and somehow the list gets repopulated according to your interests so you can not just continue from where you were.

Pure amateur garbage coupled with the most craptastic UI out of all gaming clients. Even uPlay has almost become more usable than this shit and that is saying something.
 
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28. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 18:49 phorce phed
 
Peter M. Smith wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 13:03:
Hosting high availability systems is not cheap. I work for a medical group,

Steam is not high availability. Goes down every Tuesday evening for maintenance (which can sometimes last an hour or more) and goes down randomly plenty of other times. The weekly outages even include the Store and Community Market pieces, which is something that still kind of blows my mind: If you had a money printing machine would you ever turn it off?

Nobody's life depends on Steam, so you can be assured that Valve is paying nowhere near what any medical group is. No extreme SLA, no "backups of backups for every piece of hardware and every network route" policies, nobody expensive on call 24 hours. They might not even have their own hardware in some locations.

Compared to physical distribution it is is insanely cheap to run something like Steam these days -- even if you aren't doing it all on AWS (as Netflix does).
 
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27. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 18:33 Creston
 
Boohoo, poor Steam. You're beholden to Australian law? Poor, poor Gabe.

 
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26. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 18:13 Cutter
 
Oh fuck yeah Steam does regional pricing. One of my biggest beefs with them.
 
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"Lights going out and a kick in the balls. That's entertainment, that's entertainment"
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25. Re: Stockholm Apr 20, 2018, 18:09 RedEye9
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 17:00:
It was a while before I had anything but HL3 on Steam.
I'll bite. Is the game any good and how do I go about getting my key because I already bought the Silver Half Life bundle.

 
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24. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 17:30 Orogogus
 
Talisorn wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 17:01:
Orogogus wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 11:01:
Burrito of Peace wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 10:47:
So all that means is that, for Australia, Valve will just raise prices to cover the fine which is probably less than a day's worth of net profit for them. They'll do that to cover both this fine and any subsequent fines as they have no intentions of changing their business practices.

I don't believe Valve sets regional prices except on their own games -- they provide suggested prices, but you can set them to whatever. It seems unlikely that they're going to mess with their 30% cut just because of an Australian fine.

And they already changed their business practices. My understanding is that the Australian fine was initiated before Valve implemented their current refund policy.


They don't set the price, but they do set the currency. Australia pays the same bricks and mortar prices on AAA games but is charged in $US ... and Valve are pocketing the difference. A lot of customers don't realise their being ripped off blind. I rarely buy games from Steam anymore for that reason.

If they don't set the price, then they're not setting the currency either. It seems like Valve already has a separate pricing category for Australia, so developers could theoretically make the Australian price lower if they wanted to:

Kotaku link from September

But that might be about to change. Multiple local developers confirmed with Kotaku that they are now able to set regional prices for Australia, whereas previously the option was unavailable. The Australian dollar is also listed in Valve's developer documentation for officially supported currencies, but isn't live yet in order to give time for developers to set regional pricing

It also doesn't seem to me that Valve would be pocketing the difference; the developer is pocketing the difference and Valve is getting 30%.
 
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23. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 17:01 Talisorn
 
Orogogus wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 11:01:
Burrito of Peace wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 10:47:
So all that means is that, for Australia, Valve will just raise prices to cover the fine which is probably less than a day's worth of net profit for them. They'll do that to cover both this fine and any subsequent fines as they have no intentions of changing their business practices.

I don't believe Valve sets regional prices except on their own games -- they provide suggested prices, but you can set them to whatever. It seems unlikely that they're going to mess with their 30% cut just because of an Australian fine.

And they already changed their business practices. My understanding is that the Australian fine was initiated before Valve implemented their current refund policy.


They don't set the price, but they do set the currency. Australia pays the same bricks and mortar prices on AAA games but is charged in $US ... and Valve are pocketing the difference. A lot of customers don't realise their being ripped off blind. I rarely buy games from Steam anymore for that reason.
 
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22. Re: Stockholm Apr 20, 2018, 17:00 Mr. Tact
 
Jagacademy wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 16:32:
I remember how livid I was when I bought Half-Life 2 on release day, came home, and found out I had to install some brand new random 3rd party program in order to install it. (Steam)

In all the years hence, I've come to like Steam.

Maybe I have Stockholm Syndrome.
I have to agree, that was pretty much my experience too. It was a while before I had anything but HL3 on Steam. However, I eventually came to see the advantage of having games I purchased being available for download whenever I wanted. In those days I was replacing my PC every two years.

These days you see a lot of people bitching about Steam being DRM, but I think that view is exaggerated. *shrug* Whatever. I'm happy with it and my complaints about it are minor ones.
 
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21. Stockholm Apr 20, 2018, 16:32 Jagacademy
 
I remember how livid I was when I bought Half-Life 2 on release day, came home, and found out I had to install some brand new random 3rd party program in order to install it. (Steam)

In all the years hence, I've come to like Steam.

Maybe I have Stockholm Syndrome.
 
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20. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 15:57 CJ_Parker
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 13:39:
It's sad so see Valve go from darling of the PC gaming world...

Que el fucko?!??!?!

Darling of the PC gaming world??? Stunned Stunned Stunned

Look, I have hundreds of games on Steam and I have come to accept digital DRM like Steam as the status quo but Valve have always been fuckers. Introducing Steam as DRM all by itself was an asshole move of epic proportions.

I guess you just gotta live with some fuckery in your life. My government is also full of fuckers and assholes but I still live in this country. Same with Steam. You just gotta deal with them fuckers but Valve even remotely being a "darling"? Ummm. Nope. Nonononononono. Never ever.
 
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19. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 15:10 RedEye9
 
grudgebearer wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 14:18:
No company is just going to "pay the fine", without appeal.
Exactly, it's standard operating procedure (SOP).
TLDR Business as Usual.
 
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There's an easy and fool-proof way to tell if anything related conservative/right-wing/Republican politics is true or not. If anyone calls it "fake news", you can be sure it's the solid truth
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18. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 14:56 jdreyer
 
Qvark wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 14:51:
A lot of whining loser in this thread.
Steam is still the best, it's tons better than any other service like this, Origin or similar.

Keep up the steam!

You must be new here...

 
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17. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 14:51 Qvark
 
A lot of whining loser in this thread.
Steam is still the best, it's tons better than any other service like this, Origin or similar.

Keep up the steam!
 
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16. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 14:48 Mr. Tact
 
*yawn* As someone said, Gabe will pull that out of the seat cushions.  
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15. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 14:47 aka_STEVE
 
*SLAP on wrist * -

VALVE makes that in 1 day on their steam transaction fees for every trade/sale in the marketplace , for doing nothing.

Gabe probably didn't even bat an eye on that judgment..... his lawyers are instructed to not even call/ bother him unless it goes into 9 digits-

 
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14. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 14:25 Hump
 
"Now go get ur fuckin' shinebox!"  
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13. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 14:18 grudgebearer
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Apr 20, 2018, 13:39:
Valve makes an absolute killing from Steam. It should have simply paid the fine and adjusted its policies than attempt to contest every imaginable point just for the sake of it.

It's sad so see Valve go from darling of the PC gaming world to a stagnating wasteland full of asset flips with appalling visibility on the frontpage. It Valve wants any credibility it should jettison all the low quality, low effort titles and focus on highlighting quality titles. Most of the Steam games I get these days are from other websites like Humble Bundle. And dear god, update the fucking client - it's appallingly outdated.

No company is just going to "pay the fine", without appeal. Valve's argument, was that Australian consumer laws applied to businesses with physical presence in Australia, of which Valve has none. Australia disagrees, and says that it applies to any business in the world that sells a product or service to Australians, inside Australia.

That will have far reaching consequences to both Australian consumers, and Australia's position in the WTO, if this case is considered precedent moving forward.
 
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12. Re: Valve Loses $3M AU Fine Appeal Apr 20, 2018, 13:39 theyarecomingforyou
 
Valve makes an absolute killing from Steam. It should have simply paid the fine and adjusted its policies than attempt to contest every imaginable point just for the sake of it.

It's sad so see Valve go from darling of the PC gaming world to a stagnating wasteland full of asset flips with appalling visibility on the frontpage. It Valve wants any credibility it should jettison all the low quality, low effort titles and focus on highlighting quality titles. Most of the Steam games I get these days are from other websites like Humble Bundle. And dear god, update the fucking client - it's appallingly outdated.
 
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