ACCC v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd [2011] FCA 87

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17 February 2011

In a judgment with potential implications for all businesses which market their goods or services using bold headline claims, the Federal Court has declared that SingTel Optus (Optus) engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by making claims in advertising that certain broadband services it offered were “unlimited”.

The judgment, which Justice North handed down on 11 February 2011 concerned a proceeding the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commenced in 2010 against Optus. The ACCC , represented in the proceeding by Corrs, alleged that Optus had contravened the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (Act) by using the term “unlimited” in a print, radio and television advertising campaign promoting its:

  • home telephone services when certain call types were excluded from Optus’ offer;
  • pre-paid mobile telephone services when certain call types were excluded from Optus’ offer;
  • pre-paid mobile SMS services when certain SMS types were excluded from Optus’ offer; and
  • broadband services when the broadband service offered by Optus was subject to speed reductions once the customer reached a specified data allowance.


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