TPG's fine cut from $2m to $50,000

TPG has detailed how it has incurred more than $600,000 in costs for alleged misleading ads

TPG has received a $50,000 fine from the Federal Court for alleged misleading ads, a reduction from the $2 million it was initially ordered to pay.

The court also ordered the ACCC to pay 75 per cent of TPG's costs for the appeal, injunction and the trial.

TPG had asked for the Federal Court to not impose a financial penalty on it, submitting to the court that it has already incurred costs of more than $600,000.

TPG submitted that after a trial judge forced the ISP to terminate an advertising campaign, costing it more than $105,000 to stop, the campaign was later found not to have infringed against the law.

The case relates to TPG advertisements between September 2010 and November 2011 for the ISP’s $29.99 Unlimited ADSL2+ plan, which were found to be misleading by the Federal Court in June 2012.

The judge ruled that the ads gave consumers the impression they could sign up for a $29.99 ADSL2+ broadband plan when the plan was only available as a bundle with a telephone line, which cost an additional $30 per month.

The initial ads for the ADSL2+ plan were also found to be misleading by the judge because they conveyed that consumers would not need to pay a set-up fee when they were required to, costing an extra $79.95 or $129.95.

When TPG appealed the decision to the full bench of the Federal Court in December last year, it found that the only misleading advertisements were television ads that were run in the initial advertising campaign.

The Federal Court has now dismissed the case.

The ACCC has taken a tough stance against telcos and ISPs misleading consumers and has warned it will be making sure Australian consumers “get what they pay for” when they sign up to long-term phone or broadband contracts.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags TPGThe Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

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