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The row between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and ASX-listed ISP TPG is headed back to the courtroom, after the High Court granted an ACCC application for leave to appeal against a Full Federal Court ruling that found some aspects of TPG’s advertisements for its Unlimited ADSL2+ broadband Internet service were not misleading.The trial judge in the original case, Justice Murphy, had found that TPG’s “Unlimited ADSL2+” advertisements, which ran between September 2010 and November 2011, were misleading because they conveyed the impression that TPG’s “Unlimited ADSL2+” broadband Internet service could be acquired for $29.99 a month.

In fact this service could only be acquired with a “bundled” home phone line for an additional $30 per month plus start-up costs. Justice Murphy subsequently ordered TPG to pay $2 million in fines.

TPG appealed and the Full Court last December found in its favour, at least on some matters, ruling that the ads in question were not misleading, that an ordinary or reasonable consumer would have known that these services are commonly bundled and that set-up charges are often applied. The ACCC has now taken that to the High Court. No date for the hearing has yet been set.

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