Valve in breach of Australian Consumer Law

The Australian Federal Court today ruled that Valve, the company behind the PC’s biggest video game distribution platform Steam, was in breach of Australian Consumer Law.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) pointed to Valve’s lack of a refund policy when the case was opened in August 2014. Valve has since added a refund policy to steam, allowing customers to refund purchases without question if they have under 2 hours of play time on a game.

The precedent made by this case is good news for digital customers no matter the platform – it is the first time that the definition of “goods” in the Australian Consumer Law has been extended to include computer software. The decision also serves as a reminder that foreign businesses operating in Australia can be subject to Australian Consumer Law.

A liability amount has not yet been set, but a hearing is set for the 15th of April for potential relief payments.

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