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Valve loses appeal over Steam refund policy in Australia

It could set a precedent for other online stores.

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Jon Fingas/Engadget

Valve will have to pay the piper over its former Steam refund policy. Australia's Full Court of the Federal Court has dismissed Valve's appeals of a ruling and accompanying fine (worth $2.2 million US) over its allegedly misleading Steam customer guarantees. As the company conducts business in Australia, the country's Competition and Consumer Commission said, it's beholden to national consumer protection laws -- and that means getting your money back if a game's quality isn't up to snuff.

This is water under the bridge for the most part, since Valve has already altered its practices to allow refunds within two weeks. However, the end to its case is bound to set an "important precedent," as the ACCC said. Digital stores that operate in Australia will have to accommodate its refund policies regardless of what's acceptable in their home territories. This doesn't mean they have to implement the same policy worldwide (like Valve did), but they at least have to make exceptions.

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