France fined Valve and Ubisoft




because of lack of clarity about the right of withdrawal
The French competition authority has imposed fines on Valve and Ubisoft, because the companies on their game platforms Steam and Uplay have not complied with the French legal consumer rules concerning the return right.

Valve has been fined 147,000 euros and Ubisoft has to pay 180,000 euros, according to the NoFrag website . French Steam users will see a text on Steam stating that Valve has not complied with the French legal consumer rules. The French watchdog finds that Ubisoft and Valve do not inform consumers well enough about their rights before or during the purchase of a game.

This specifically concerns the obligation that consumers should be informed that they are renouncing their right to dissolve the purchase within fourteen days. This is an exception to this return right; Normally, when a remote purchase is made, the product may be returned within fourteen days, but there are exceptions, such as for digital content.

Probably Valve and Ubisoft have made insufficient clarity to French consumers that this right will expire when purchasing games on their platforms. They also did not sufficiently point out to consumers some pre-contractual rights. On Steam, gamers can refund their money within fourteen days if they have played the game for less than two hours; this right expires after two hours. Ubisoft does not offer a return right for digital purchases at all.

In principle, these consumer rules are the same throughout the EU as they derive from an EU directive that all Member States have transposed into their own legislation. That could mean that Valve and Ubisoft also violate the law here, provided that the practice of Steam and Uplay in France corresponds to that in the Netherlands and Belgium. Probably there is still an appeal against French fines.


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