Business Law: Australian Competition And Consumer Commission V TPG Internet Pty Ltd

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Business Law: Australian Competition And Consumer Commission V TPG Internet Pty Ltd

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1. Briefly describe the content of TPG’s advertising which ACCC considered to be defective. 
2. Which two statutory provisions did ACCC allege that TPG’s advertising contravened and what was it about the advertisements which contravened those provisions.
3. What were the findings (conclusions) of the primary judge about the following aspects of the advertising.
4. In what two ways did the Full Court take a different approach from that of the primary judge in deciding whether the TPG advertising was misleading?
5. The High Court concluded that the approach taken by the Full Court was not correct. For what two reasons did the High Court come to this conclusion? 
6. The Full Court, in coming to its conclusions, applied as a precedent the ratio in a case called Parkdale Custom Built Furniture v Puxu (“Puxu”). The High Court said that the Full Court wrongly applied the principle in Puxu and gave three reasons for this. Briefly explain any two of the reasons the High Court thought the Puxu case was different from the TPG advertising and so should not have been used by the Full Court as a precedent. 
7. If you were employed in the marketing section of an internet service provider or a fitness centre which was about to launch an advertising campaign promoting an attractive “plan” for membership in which there were several “parts” (costs and benefits) to be taken into account by potential customers, what advice would you give about the form the advertising should take, based on your understanding of the High Court’s ruling in ACCC v TPG? 

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v TPG Internet Pty Ltd
The TPG organization was offering the internet services and also engaged in a multimedia advertising campaign. The ACCC found out the services and advertisements it was offering were against the law and defective. The organization was supplying the internet service to the consumers at a higher price. The cost was over twenty-nine dollars per month. On the other hand, the ADSL2+ service was only available to the customers bundled it with the home telephone service. The TPG Company was also to provide the landline technology for thirty dollars, and one had to be committed for six months. Moreover, the telephone charges were high as an individual had to pay a setup fee of one hundred and twenty-nine dollars and a deposit of twenty dollars. The ACCC also found out that the advertisements were misleading and deceptive by having attractive prices that it did not qualify. The TPG organization was advertising its ads on the national television stations, radio stations, the newspapers and also on their websites and other third parties (Thampapillai, 2015).
In addition to that, the ACCC alleged that the adverts contravened the Trade Practices Act as TPG failed to specify the single price for the package of the services. The violated statutory provisions included section 52 and 53. The section 52 stated that any corporation shall not engage in any particular conduct that is misleading or deceptive or that can mislead or deceive. The section 53 said that any organization that was supplying the goods and services should not make the false representation regarding the prices of the commodities. Moreover, the company should also not mislead the consumers in the existence of any specified condition, guarantee or right. The advertisements that had made the contravention were to be imposed a maximum pecuniary penalty of one point one million dollars. The ACCC had found out that the TPG Company had violated the sections stipulated on the act and were liable to pay the penalty. The original judge penalized the organization two million dollars for their misconduct.  The companies had to follow the act accordingly (Turner & Trone, 2013). 
The primary judge had various findings regarding the aspects of advertising. He concluded that the bundling condition target audience was the individual who were the first time users of the ADSL2+ services. Moreover, the consumer was not able to know whether the TPG Company was offering a separate or bundled service and they had to rely on the adverts. Regarding the setup condition the judge found out that the adverts except that of radio provide the information relating to the setup fee. The consumers who had seen the advertisements had to be aware of the existence of the setup fee. The TPG organization never displayed the single price in its initials advertisements. It should have been outlined in a prominent way according to the Trade Practices Act (Goldring, 2002). 
On the other hand, the Full Court used various approaches to make some determination whether the TPG advertising methods were misleading. It made investigations from time to time so as to come up with a conclusion whether the adverts were contravening the legislation or they did mislead the people. The Full Court reduced the maximum penalty as it differed from the primary judge and his conclusions. Moreover, it also made sure that the Trade Practice Law was followed by all the corporations that offered the clients with different goods and services. However, the all the advertisements were scrutinized to ascertain whether they met the conditions that are required by law (Gillies, 2004).  
Gillies, P. (2004). Business law. Sydney: Federation Press.
Goldring, J. (2002). Consumer protection law. Leichhardt, N.S.W: Federation Press.
Thampapillai, D., Tan, V., Bozzi, C., & Matthew, A. (2015). Australian commercial law. Port       Melbourne, VIC, Australia : Cambridge University Press
Turner, C., & Trone, J. (2013). Australian commercial law. Sydney: Lawbook Co.

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