The company at the centre of rumours of a possible class action against Cabcharge has confirmed with Lawyers Weekly that its legal advisors are looking into further legal action.
On 24 September Cabcharge was fined $15 million by the Federal Court for abuse of market power (section 46 of the Trade Practices Act). Trade Practice Act.
More than half of that penalty ($9 million) was for Cabcharge's refusal to deal with Mpos Australia in 2008. Mpos is a Western Australian company that provides merchant facilities for card payments in the taxi industry, with Cabcharge refusing to allow competitor companies to supply electronic payment processing services for taxis to process Cabcharge branded non-cash payment products.
Cabcharge was also ordered to pay $2 million in relation to its refusal to deal with Travel Tab Australia in 2005 and $3 million for supplying taxi meters and fare schedule updates below cost between 2004 and 2007, Cabcharge was also ordered to set aside $1 million towards the ACCC's costs and to implement a trade practices corporate compliance program.
It was later reported that Slater & Gordon had been retained by a rival company of Cabcharge to investigate suing the company for further damages.
When contacted by Lawyers Weekly, Slater & Gordon confirmed those reports but said it would not be commenting further.
When Lawyers Weekly contacted Mpos Australia CEO Chris Kelsey, he said that his company's board and legal advisers were looking into further legal action against Cabcharge.
"The first priority for Mpos is to work with Cabcharge to implement the processing of Cabcharge cards through Mpos terminals," Kelsey said. "The inability to do so previously has been a very significant barrier and our expectation is that Cabcharge will now comply with the orders of the ACCC and work co-operatively with Mpos in this regard."
Cabcharge's $15 million fine is the highest penalty handed down by the Federal Court for offences related to breaches of s46 of the Act in proceedings brought by the ACCC.
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