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Valve and Ubisoft fined for breaching consumer laws in France

Valve and Ubisoft fined for breaching consumer laws in France

September 19, 2018 | By Chris Kerr

Ubisoft and Valve have been fined for breaching consumer laws in France, after failing to implement satisfactory refund policies on their Uplay and Steam digital storefronts. 

As a result, both Uplay and Steam now display 'non-compliance' warnings in the region (shown at the top of the screengrab below), while Ubisoft and Valve have been ordered to pay respective fines of €180,000 ($210,000) and €147,000 ($172,000).

Ultimately, the six-figure fine isn't going to harm either party, but the story is still an interesting look at how consumer laws are adapting to the digital age. 

As explained by French website NoFrag (via PCGamesN), article L221-18 of the French Consumer Code states that consumers should have 14 days to "exercise the right of withdrawal."

In essence, that means consumers in the region should be able to return a purchase within two-weeks. Uplay, however, doesn't have any sort of refund policy in place for digital titles. 

Steam on the other hand does allow users to return digital games within 14-days, but only if they've played less than two hours - which is a stipulation that's likely causing problems for Valve in France. 

Curiously, companies in France are actually allowed to disregard article L221-18, but only as long as they make consumers explicitly aware of the face. Until now, neither Valve or Ubisoft did, hence the slap on the wrist. 







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