In a recent ACCC case, Valve Corporation (Valve) were ordered by the Federal Court to pay $3 million in penalties for misrepresenting gamers’ consumer guarantee.
Valve is an entertainment software and technology company located in the United States. Valve owns and operates an online computer game distribution platform known as ‘Steam’ that has over 125 million users worldwide, with approximately 2.2 million of those users in Australia. In 2015, Valve’s revenue was reported at over $3 billion.
In the ACCC press realease, “The Court held that the terms and conditions in the Steam subscriber agreements, and Steam’s refund policies, included false or misleading representations about consumers’ rights to obtain a refund for games if they were not of acceptable quality.”
The press release further mentions Valve’s poor compliance of Australian consumer law, “Justice Edelman also took into account “Valve’s culture of compliance [which] was, and is, very poor”. Valve’s evidence was ‘disturbing’ to the Court because 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”. He also noted that Valve had ‘contested liability on almost every imaginable point’.”
Read the full press release here.
The ACCC states, “We will continue to take action to ensure Australian consumers benefit from these Australian Consumer Law guarantees, regardless of whether the business which supplies them is based in Australia or overseas.”