Valve still has to pay a fine for deceiving PC users, says Australian court


One of the biggest news stories of 2014 was the fact that Valve got sued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC for short). Valve as you may already know is the company behind Steam, and the ACCC filed a lawsuit because it wasn’t happy about the fact the US company was not allowing refunds of video games purchased on its online store to Australian customers.

Of course, as we already know Valve came up with a refund policy for Steam games in 2015, letting you sample the game for 14 days or a maximum of 2 hours in order to decide whether it’s your cup or tea, or request a refund.

But since the ACCC’s lawsuit was filed in 2014 (before refunds became the order of the day on Steam) an Australian court has decided the $3 million Australian dollars ($2.3 million US dollars) fine imposed on Valve in 2014 still stands, rejecting the company’s appeal.

“The Full Court found Valve carried on business in Australia, and was therefore bound by the Australian Consumer Law in its dealings with customers here”, said the ACCC chairman in a statement (via PC Gamer).

The court also stood by its earlier findings, saying that “Valve made misleading representations about consumer guarantees”, providing “false or misleading” information to customers, also stating that the case “sets an important precedent that overseas-based companies that sell to Australians must abide by our law”.

Don’t feel sorry for Valve about this, though, as Steam is as successful as its ever been according to most accounts. Gamers the world over buying more and more games through Valve’s online store than through any other platform, and it’s clear Steam has done more good than harm to the PC industry, single-handedly making piracy a thing of the past for many.

Also, the Steam Winter sale is now running, giving you a chance to pick up games at heavily discounted prices, even if it’s clear these sales are not all they are cracked up to be. But still, it’s clear Steam has won its place in most PC gamers hearts over the years, and Valve founder Gabe Newell is one of the richest video game entrepreneurs out there, so this court decision against the US company is unlikely to be a major setback for Valve in the long run.