In Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Apple Pty Limited [2012] FCA 646 the court was required to determine whether an agreed pecuniary order on Apple Pty Limited was appropriate.

Apple admitted to engaging in conduct that was likely to mislead consumers in contravention of s33 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The “iPad with WiFi + 4G” was promoted by Apple however it could not directly connect with the only commercially available network understood by consumers to be “4G”.

The Court considered that the deliberateness of the breach, and that Apple’s desire for ‘global uniformity’ was greater than the priority to comply with local laws. This conduct was described as ‘serious and unacceptable’ and it was stressed that multi-national corporations must respect the Australian market and laws.

The extensive reach of the contravening conduct, and the number of devices sold during the relevant period was accounted for; however the Court also looked to the media attention which would have diminished the likelihood of potential consumers being mislead.

Additionally, Apple’s cooperation with the ACCC led the court to conclude that the proposed penalty was appropriate.