Australian Federal court has fined Valve maximum after citing that the company has refused to offer Steam refunds between 2011 and 2014
Australia’s federal court has handed Valve a penalty of AUD$3 million, which translates to 2.2 million USD. The court has fined the digital distribution company after ruling that the company had violated consumer law after failing to offer refunds between 2011 and 2014.
The fine is the maximum requested by Australia’s competition regulator, and is also 12 times more than what Valve has suggested to pay. The company has initially suggested to pay a penalty of AUD$250,000, which according to Justic James Edelman was not a ‘real cost of doing business’. Justice Edelman has said that the maximum penalty has been implemented as the company had willfully disregarded Australian law.
According to Valve’s general counsel Karl Quackenbush, the company has did not seek out legal advice until 2014, upon which it was alerted by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Valve was also accused to have shown negligence in ensuring that it followed local regulations, and this hasn’t went down well with the Federal Court.
It was found by Australia’s federal court back in March that the company’s lack of a refund policy on Steam violated consumer law. The company had implemented an international refund policy during a three-year duration between 2011 and 2014.
US-based Valve is serving over 2.2 million accounts in Australia. During the period between 2011 and 2014, the company has received 21,124 tickets related to refund claims from Australian IP addresses.