France fines Valve and Ubisoft over consumer protection laws

    
15
Pssssssst

Valve’s been fined in yet another consumer protection case, this time in France, and this time with Ubisoft in tow.

Gamers will recall that Valve spent several years fighting the Competition and Consumer Commission in Australia, which alleged that Valve had breached Aussie consumer law because Steam “had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations to Australian customers about their rights under consumer guarantees.” Instead of simply paying the $3M penalty for failing to properly offer customers in the region their legal refunds, Valve dragged the case all the way to the highest court in the country, which refused to grant it special leave last spring, thereby leaving the victory for the plaintiffs.

This separate complaint in France has likewise resulted in a loss for Valve and also Ubisoft, who were accused of violating the country’s consumer codes with their respective Steam and Uplay services, specifically in regard to refund policies. Apparently, under the law the companies are allowed to deny refunds, but only if they inform consumers they aren’t in compliance ahead of time – something neither was doing adequately in the eyes of the country.

The fines for the companies aren’t nearly as high as the Aussie fines; to the French agency governing consumer affairs and fraud prevention, Ubisoft owes €180 ($200K US), while Valve is on the hook for €147K ($171K US).

Source: NoFrag via PCGN via Gamasutra. Cheers, Steve!
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Philip Armstrong

Europe may not be a great market for game companies.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Peregrine Falcon

Sounds like Valve should close their EU offices and then tell the EU to get stuffed.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
xanadox

Yes, they can stop selling steam games in Europe or they can just obey the law.
Nintendo, you are the next one.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Cypher

Of course! They should absolutely close their doors to half a billion potential customers. Makes perfect business sense!
I mean it’s crazy all those European governments actually enacting laws (and backing them up with action) to protect their citizens from predatory business practices that are so rife in other regions!

Reader
rosieposie

It’s always great to see these American companies shocked that they can’t buy the courts in countries that are actually civilized.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Always fun when a company that pretty much established itself in making money from absolutely nothing other than selling other people’s games, getting a small reprimand. Cheering for more.

Anything that makes Valve WORK on the games they already damn have.

Reader
Sray

Obviously it’s just a slap on the wrist, but between this and the numerous European countries that just formalized a joint inquiry into lootboxes, I think we’re seeing the EU in the early stages of preparing itself to throw the book at gaming companies for circumventing the various consumer protection laws. I hope it’s soon.

Reader
rafael12104

Schaudenfreud. Although, to be honest, these fines are likely to come out of petty cash and do nothing but maybe cause wry smile from execs as they get they review there earnings report.

Reader
Mr.McSleaz

That’s change in the car console for these people, not even petty cash.

Reader
kalech

Always fun to see them get their hands slapped.

Alyn
Reader
Alyn

WOW! Two Valve stories in one day? They are truly not looking good right now.

Reader
zuldar

I wouldn’t worry about it, Valve never does anything in 3’s.

Cyclone Jack
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Cyclone Jack

I duuno, this comment has 3 likes. That’s proof enough for me. ;)

Reader
Mr.McSleaz

LULZ.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

Awesome news. Go France!