Optus sues Vodafone over 'Infinite' ads

After recently copping a ban on advertising certain broadband plans, Optus is now taking Vodafone to court over its "Infinite" mobile phone plan advertisements.

After recently copping a ban on advertising certain broadband plans, Optus is now taking Vodafone to court over its "Infinite" mobile phone plan advertisements.

Optus and Vodafone fight

(Fight Club image by Polina Sergeeva, CC2.0)

In the Federal Court today, Justice Arthur Emmett was told that the telco intends to bring a case against Vodafone over "television and print advertisements put out by Vodafone around the concept of infinite and infinite number of calls".

Vodafone's "Infinite" mobile phone plans offer infinite calls within Australia, infinite texts and infinite access to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Optus told ZDNet Australia in a statement that it has concerns that the advertising is misleading because it "does not adequately inform consumers of the various qualifications" of the "Infinite" plans. Optus said it is seeking an interim injunction preventing Vodafone from running the ad campaign until a final hearing can take place.

Optus wants the matter to be heard as soon as possible; however, Vodafone's legal team requested a few days to build a defence, stating that the advertisements had been around since mid-November. The advertisements needed to be taken in context, the court heard, as they are aimed at "reasonably educated consumers" who were familiar with mobile phone plans.

Justice Emmett directed Optus to issue a statement of claim by 1pm tomorrow, and asked Vodafone to serve a draft defence by no later than 9:15am on Wednesday. The judge set a further directions hearing for 9:30am on Wednesday.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently won a case against Optus for misleading advertising relating to its 'Think Bigger' and 'Supersonic' broadband plans. The Federal Court imposed a three-year ban on the telco from running similar campaigns and forced the telco to send letters to customers who signed onto the plans during the time the advertising was running.

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