Optus wants damages for lost biz after Telstra ‘Unlimited’ ads
Telecommunications June 1, 2018 3:50 pm By Miklos Bolza | Sydney

Telecommunications company Optus asked a judge Friday to award damages for customers it lost as a result of Telstra’s “Unlimited” ad campaign, which the Federal Court ruled last week was misleading and deceptive.

The campaign – which included the tagline: ‘One word from Australia’s best mobile network. Unlimited’ – has cost Optus business it would have otherwise won from Telstra as well as competing firms such as Vodafone, Justice Jacqueline Gleeson heard Friday.

“Optus lost the chance to compete for other customers in the market for a mobile plan,” Optus barrister Declan Roche told the court.

The firm is now seeking documents from Telstra about the effectiveness of the ad campaign.

In a May 23 judgment, Justice Gleeson found the ads contravened the Australian Consumer Law and were “liable to mislead the public as to the nature or characteristics of [Telstra’s] mobile network services”.

The ads were displayed on billboards, newspapers and websites with the primary purpose of informing consumers about Telstra’s Endless Data BYO plan.

The next case management hearing has been set down for June 28.

The two companies have also been in court over Optus’ ‘Empires End’ ad. On May 30, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Ross Robson dissolved a temporary injunction that had forced Optus to pull the ad, and dismissed Telstra’s case.

Anthony McGrath, SC, from 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers, represented Telstra in Friday’s hearing and was instructed by King & Wood Mallesons.

Roche is from Banco Chambers and was instructed by Clayton Utz.

The case is Optus Mobile Pty Ltd ACN 054 365 696 v Telstra Corporation Limited ACN 051 775 556.

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Miklos Bolza

Miklos Bolza has been a journalist for three years. He has written for a variety of publications, including NZ Lawyer, HRD Australia, and Australian Broker. He is currently the Sydney court reporter for Lawyerly.