HP fined $3 million for false claims to customers

IT COMPANY Hewlett-Packard Australia will be fined $3 million for making false or misleading claims to customers, after a Federal Court order on Friday.

The fines come after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission began legal action against HP in October last year.

After the initial action, the commission and HP came to a settlement on the matter.

The court found HP made a number of false or misleading representations to consumers about their rights, particularly regarding product warranties.

In his judgment, Justice Peter Buchannan stated that the penalty was appropriate and "reflects an acknowledgment of the seriousness of the respondent's conduct".

Justice Buchannan noted the court's disapproval of HP's conduct and the need for general and specific deterrence for such behaviour.

Commission chairman Rod Sims said the case was an important win, citing "widespread and systemic" misconduct from a large multi-national firm.

"The ACCC believes that this penalty sends a strong message to all companies, particularly large multi-national companies, that the Australian Consumer Law is not negotiable," he said.

"This result also shows that the court is not afraid to impose significant penalties for serious contraventions of the ACL."

The company was also ordered to pay $200,000 in costs for the ACCC, a number of customer redress orders, public disclosures and corrective advertising.



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