Should a %-of-turnover penalty regime be introduced into the Australian Consumer law (“ACL”)?
A month ago, the Federal Court agreed to the ACCC‘s $9 million settlement of the Apple Inc contraventions of the ACL.
The interesting aspect to the case is in Justice Lee’s final observations, wherein His Honour, appears to call for Government reform to the ACL granting courts the power to award %-of-turnover penalties, in appropriate circumstances.
Justice Lee compares the competition law penalties with the ACL penalties and claims that the two should be consistent, especially for large corporations/conglomerates.
For instance, a company like Apple with $100B+ annual turnover, does a $9 million penalty really create a disincentive? Or is the bad publicity and an apology enough?
What’s your thoughts on Justice Lee’s comments?
Link to the case (see from paras 61 to 65) http://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/single/2018/2018fca0953.