High Court Rejects Valve’s Leave Request To Appeal $3M Fine
The High Court of Australia has today dismissed a special leave request from US gaming company, Valve, which sought to appeal a $3 million fine for breaching Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
In 2016, a judge found Valve made “misleading and deceptive representations” about Aussie gamers’ legal consumer guarantees (e.g. right to refunds), and imposed a $3 million fine.
Based in Washington state, Valve Corporation (Valve) operates the industry-leading Steam game distribution platform, which has a reported 2.2. million Aussie subscribers.
The news comes after the ACCC pursued legal action against Valve in 2014.
In December last year, Valve requested a special leave to appeal the Federal Court’s ruling.
ACCC Commissioner, Sarah Court, affirms the High Court’s dismission sets an “important precendent” over the conduct of international organisations, and their compliance with Australian law:
“This important precedent confirms the ACCC’s view that overseas-based companies selling to Australian consumers must abide by our laws”
“If customers buy a product online that is faulty, they are entitled to the same right to a repair, replacement or refund as if they’d walked in to a store”.
The Full Federal Court’s ruling that Valve is bound by the ACL – despite being an overseas company – is now the “final decision” on the issue, following the High Court’s rejection of its special leave request.