ACCC looks to High Court over TPG broadband ads
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking to take internet services provider TPG to the High Court over its alleged misleading advertisements after its setback at the full court of the Federal Court.
The full bench of the court overturned the trial judge's decision that found TPG's advertisements, which took place between September 2010 and November 2011, were misleading.
Justice Bernard Murphy, the trial judge, said in a decision last year that TPG's advertisements gave consumers the impression that they could get its Unlimited ADSL2+ internet services for $29.99 a month when the deal was only available as part of a bundled package, which cost $30 extra a month.
The judge also found TPG had misled consumers on the set-up cost of its Unlimited ADSL2+ services during the early phase of its advertising campaign, which created the perception that consumers could get connected without paying extra set-up charge.
TPG appealed Justice Murphy's decision and the full bench of the Federal Court held internet services provider's disclosures on the bundling requirement and set-up charge were adequate and TPG's only breach was its initial TV advertisement.
Furthermore, the full bench said "in any case the ordinary or reasonable consumer would have known that these services are commonly bundled and that set-up charges are often applied," according to an ACCC statement.
The appeal judges also found the penalty imposed by Justice Murphy - a $2 million fine – to be excessive, and reduced it to $500,000.
The ACCC is seeking a special leave to appeal to the High Court.