The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has emerged victorious in its almost four-year legal stoush against US-based video game distributor and sometimes creator Valve Corporation, with the High Court dismissing Valve's special leave application.
As a result of the dismissal, Valve is left having to pay a AU$3 million fine and with a ruling that it had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct concerning the rights of Australian consumers.
"As a result of the High Court's refusal of special leave, the Full Federal Court's decision that Valve is bound by the ACL in its dealings with Australian customers, despite being based overseas, is the final decision on this issue," the ACCC said on Friday.
"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 2016 decision by the Federal Court found that the terms and conditions in the Steam subscriber agreements, and Steam's refund policies, included false or misleading representations about consumers' rights to obtain a refund for games if they were not of acceptable quality, the ACCC said previously.
In recent times, the ACCC has been hauling a number of companies in front of the Federal Court for alleged deceptive conduct.