Australian court fines Valve USD$2.2M over Steam refunds
Australian court fines Valve USD$2.2M over Steam refunds

The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed in a recent report that a fine of AUD$3 million (USD$2.2 million) has been imposed on Valve by Australia's federal court, over Steam refunds.

According to the report, US-based Valve has been ordered by an Australian court to pay AUD$3 million in fine, after the company's lost a legal battle against the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) earlier this year.

In its ruling, the Australian court - which had found in March that Valve had violated the country's consumer law by not having a refund policy on Steam - said that Valve's failure to offer Steam refunds between 2011 and 2014 amounted to a breach of the consumer law. Valve's international refund policy was implemented in mid-2015, after the company was sued by the ACCC in mid-2014 for not offering consumer guarantees mandated by Australian law.

Drawing attention to the fact that Valve currently serves nearly 2.2 million accounts in Australia, Justice Edelman said in the ruling that, between 2011 and 2014, the company received 21,124 tickets with the word "refund" from Australian IP addresses.

Justice Edelman further wrote in the ruling that Valve "formed a view without Australian legal advice that it was not subject to Australian law," and added that the company was "content to proceed to trade with Australian consumers without that advice and with the view that even if advice had been obtained that Valve was required to comply with Australian law the advice might have been ignored."