Back in December, a federal court in Australia fined Valve $3 million because the court found that Valve breached Australian Consumer Laws. The breach comes from the fact that between 2011 and 2014 Valve did not have a refund policy for consumers. That, of course, is not the case now. On the 20th of this month, it was confirmed that Valve would be appealing this fine.
What this means is that Valve’s case will now go before what is known as the “Full Court” of the Federal Court in Australia, which will be made up of three Judges or possibly five if deemed significant enough. It will be interesting to see what Valve targets in their appeal, as Justice Edelman, the judge in the original ruling, had a very unfavorable view of Valve’s actions:
[Valve] had a culture by which it formed a view without Australian legal advice that it was not subject to Australian law, and it 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.
Valve was brought to court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the lack of consumer protections in regards to a refund policy. It was the ACCC who argued the violations and pursued the maximum $3 million fine, which the judge ultimately agreed with.
An interesting note is that the original judge, Justice James Edelman, has since been appointed to the High Court of Australia in January of this year. The High Court is similar in function to the United States’ Supreme Court or that of Canada.
We have reached out to Valve for comment and will update this article if we receive word.
What do you think of the case? Did Valve deserve the $3 million fine? Share your thoughts in the comments below!