The High Court of Australia given the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) the ability to appeal against part of the Full Federal Court decision relating to TPG’s misleading advertising.
The ACCC’s appeal relates to findings by the Federal Court that certain advertisements for TPG's Unlimited ADSL2+ broadband service, were not misleading.
It’s also appealing the order that the ISP pay total penalties of $50,000, which was initially $2 million.
On 4 November 2011 the trial judge, Justice Murphy, found that TPG’s initial and amended Unlimited ADSL2+ advertisements, which ran between September 2010 and November 2011, were misleading because they gave the impression that the broadband service could be acquired at a cost of $29.99 per month, when in fact this service could only be acquired with a “bundled” home telephone line for an additional $30 per month plus start up costs.
It also found the initial advertisements which ran for 12 days in September and October 2010 did not prominently specify the minimum charge for the advertised service and were misleading for not disclosing additional up front charges.
Justice Murphy ordered TPG to pay a pecuniary penalties totaling $2 million, but TPG appealed the decision.
In December last year, the Full Court allowed the appeal in part, upholding Justice Murphy’s finding that the initial television advertisements for TPG’s Unlimited ADSL2+ offer were misleading.
It did not overturn Justice Murphy’s finding that the initial advertisements did not prominently specify the single price for the advertised service. However, the Full Court held that the other TPG advertisements were not misleading because the bundling requirement and set up charges were adequately disclosed, and that an ordinary or reasonable consumer would have known that these services are commonly bundled and that set-up charges are often applied.