Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v. TPG Internet Pty Ltd
Lower Court Judgment
20/12/2012 Federal Court of Australia (Jacobson J, Bennett J, Gilmour J)
Competition law – Restrictive trade practices – Misleading or deceptive conduct – False or misleading statements – Trade Practice Act 1974 (Cth) (“TPA”) and Australian Consumer Law, Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (“CCA”) – Full Federal Court overturned in part decision of trial judge that TPG had breached the TPA and CCA – Advertisements represented that internet service could be acquired for $29.99 a month with no additional service or monthly charge and no set up fee – Service was only available in conjunction with a home telephone line that cost an additional $30 a month (the 'bundling condition), as well as upfront charges and a deposit (the 'setup fee condition') – Whether ordinary and reasonable consumer would have starting assumption that an advertised internet service was bundled with telephony services – Whether consumers must consider whole of an advertisement (including small print or quickly spoken detail) in order to correct what would otherwise be misleading headline representations.
Competition law – Penalties – Pecuniary penalties – Full Court reduced pecuniary penalty from $2,000,000 to $500,000 – Whether Full Court failed to adequately consider specific and general deterrence in imposing reduced pecuniary penalty – Whether reduced pecuniary penalty manifestly inadequate.
16/08/2013 Hearing (SLA, Melbourne)
30/08/2013 Notice of appeal
20/09/2013 Written submissions (Appellant)
20/09/2013 Chronology (Appellant)
11/10/2013 Written submissions (Respondent)