"Under the Australian consumer law, all goods or services supplied to consumers come with automatic consumer guarantees that they are of acceptable quality and fit for the goal for which they were sold".
Game publishing and digital distribution giant Valve has been fined £1.64 million by an Australian court for participating in what was described as 'misleading or deceptive conduct' over the refund policy on its Steam platform.
In 2016, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia ruled that the developer had to abide by the ACL and it's digital platform, Steam, was in violation of the country's consumer laws due to lacking an explicit refund policy in 2014. But with the High Court dismissing Valve's appeals and the court systems saying that Valve did do business in the country and is bound by the laws, the ACCC says that this court's decision to strike down the appeal and move forward is important for setting a precedent for future overseas business interactions.
But in 2014, refunds were required by Australian law. "If customers buy a product online that is faulty, they are entitled to the same right to a fix, replacement, or refund as if they'd walked in to a store". In a statement, the ACCC says that this "is the final decision on this issue". Valve only offered them on a case-by-case basis at the time. Valve was accused by the ACCC of misleading consumers over a guarantee of refund. First, it argued it technically didn't conduct business in Australia, therefore Australian Consumer Law did not apply to Valve and the games it sold through the Steam client.
In December of 2017, Valve appealed the decision of the Full Federal Court that found the company in violation of Australian Consumer Law and said that it must pay a penalty of $3 million.
Back in March 2016, Justice Edelman stated that Valve had "established game servers in Australia, it had content delivery networks in Australia and it knew it had approximately 2.2 million subscribers in Australia".