Australian Federal Court has fined Valve $3 million for breaching the Australian consumers law for the lack of advertisement of the company’s refund policy on Steam from 2011 to 2014.
According to the judgment published online, Valve was involved in a conduct that was misleading and deceptive or “likely to mislead or deceive in contravention” of Australian consumer law as the company advertised that consumers had no right to refund their games.
However, Valve introduced the refund policy as soon as the case began but the court found that the breach of consumer law between 1 January 2011 and 28 August 2014, is enough to warrant $3million fine.
The court has ruled that Valve is obligated to pay the fine within 30 days as well as a notice must be displayed to Australian users.
For a period of 12 months after 20 February 2017, for the benefit of Australian Consumers logging onto the Steam Website from a computer with an Australian IP address (based on the IP look up table available to the respondent current as at the consumer’s login), the respondent will publish on the home page of the Steam Website a link, in a typeface of at least 14 point Times New Roman, reading “IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT CONSUMER RIGHTS IN AUSTRALIA”, which directs them to a notice in the terms set out in Annexure A1 (“Consumer Rights Notice”).
The court has further ruled that Valve must “establish and implement an Australian Law Compliance Program to be undertaken by each employee of the respondent or other person involved in the respondent’s business who deals or who may deal with Australian Consumers”. Valve has until February 20, 2017, to appeal the fine and the ruling.