Sony Europe, the mother company of Sony Australia, has been ordered by the Federal Court of Australia to pay its customers $2.4 million in penalty charges. Lawmakers said the company “made false and misleading representations” involving Australian consumers about their Australian Consumer Law rights.

The court found out that four customers had been misled by Sony Europe after they purchased games at PlayStation Network. The games were described as “faulty.” According to GameSpot, Sony said that these customers were not entitled to receive a refund if 14 days had passed since the day of purchase or if the game had been downloaded. Such provision is not aligned with Australian consumer laws.

Australian Competition And Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims said in a statement that Australian law clearly stated that "Consumer guarantee rights do not expire a digital product has been downloaded and certainly do not disappear after 14 days or any other arbitrary date." 

"Consumers who buy digital products online have exactly the same rights as they would if they made the purchase at a physical store," Sims added.

According to Kotaku, in the full Federal Court ruling, the maximum fine for 21 contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law would have totalled at least $44.5 million. An agreement between the ACCC and Sony Europe’s legal team managed to bring it down to $2.4 million.

The case proceedings started in 2019. The precedent, according to reports, was from a 2014 case against Valve, in a similar case where the developer was accused of the same misleading representation of the consumer guarantee law.

The games in question had not been specified. In May, however, there was a case where the ACCC ordered EB Games to refund customers who had bought “Fallout 76,” only to find themselves unable to return it. It is not clear whether the cases are related.

PlayStation 5 Concept Controller - Unofficial Render Sony has not yet unveiled the PlayStation 5. Photo: LetsGoDigital