TPG Forced To Cough Up $2M Fine
After a lengthy legal battle, the High Court has overturned the Full Federal Court decision, which found some aspects of TPG’s broadband ads were not misleading.
The court has also reinstated TPG massive $2m fine imposed last year for a series of misleading ads for Unlimited ADSL2+ broadband.
TPG had appealed the original $2m fine, and the Federal court ruled partly in its favour.
However, this decision was then appealed by the consumer watchdog, ACCC, in August this year.
In its judgment, the High Court said: “The tendency of TPG’s advertisements to lead consumers into error arose because the advertisements themselves selected some words for emphasis and relegated the balance to relative obscurity.“
In the High Court’s view, the Full Court erred in finding home phone bundling requirement and set up charges were adequately disclosed and consumers would have known that internet services were bundled with telephony services.
The High Court considered that there was no appellable error in the trial judge’s approach to finding the ads were misleading.
“This case is of great significance to the ACCC because it is important that penalties imposed for breaches of the Australian Consumer Law are set at a level that deters future breaches,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“In particular, the High Court recognised that penalties must be fixed with a view to ensuring that the penalty is not such as to be regarded by businesses as an acceptable cost of doing business.”