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Full Federal Court orders Optus to pay $3.6 million penalty

posted Mar 22, 2012, 9:48 PM by Austin Carwardine   [ updated Apr 3, 2012, 5:39 PM ]

The Full Court of the Federal Court ordered Optus to pay $3.61 million in fines in relation to advertising for the 'THINK BIGGER' and 'SUPERSONIC' broadband internet plans.  Optus had appealed against orders made by the primary judge that Optus pay fines  totalling $5.26 million for breaches of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (now the Competition and Consumer Act 2010).  The ACCC had initially taken court action against Optus, alleging that Optus had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to the advertisements.

The Full Court found that "Optus cannot be regarded as a first offender. It failed to observe the requirements of the Act, and not for the first time", and "this court should proceed on the footing that Optus' conduct was very serious. The contraventions were on a grand scale. They were also unexplained."  [From the ACCC news release, 9 March 2012.]