The Federal Court has ordered Singtel Optus to pay all Vodafone’s legal costs in a dispute over the latter’s advertisements for ‘infinite’ calls, text messages and social networking access.
Optus filed suit on 10 December, after its own ‘unlimited’ advertisements were deemed “misleading and deceptive” in a separate case against the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
It sought to prohibit competitor Vodafone from claiming to provide infinite mobile services, as well as costs and any “further or other orders, directions or relief” that the Court might recommend.
According to Optus’ statement of claim, disclaimers on Vodafone’s print and television advertisements were not prominent enough to draw consumers’ attention to the limits of its ‘infinite’ offerings.
Optus accused Vodafone of contravening section 52 of the Trade Practices Act – an allegation Vodafone refuted.
On 16 December, Optus moved to discontinue the case. It subsequently applied to avoid paying its competitor’s legal costs, arguing that there was technically no winner or loser in the case.
Federal Court Justice Emmett last week granted leave for the case to be discontinued and ordered Optus to pay all Vodafone’s legal costs.
"After Optus' initial interlocutory injunction against Vodafone's 'Infinite' marketing and advertising was unsuccessful, Optus today withdrew its claims and agreed to pay Vodafone's costs in regard to those proceedings," a Vodafone spokesman told iTnews on Friday.
An Optus spokesman said the company has closed the case and would pay costs as ordered.