By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Allphones has been hit with a $45,000 fine for contempt of court orders, according to a statement released today by the ACCC.

According to ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel, “This decision sends a clear message that the ACCC and the Court regard breaches of court orders very seriously. Those who act in contempt of court can expect to be vigorously pursued by the ACCC.”

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

The fine, issued by the Federal Court, was for the breach of orders relating to “two undertakings given by Allphones to the court in October 2008.

“They prohibited the company from withholding consent to the assignment of an Allphones franchise if the franchisee would not sign a deed releasing Allphones from liability, and required Allphones to give the ACCC 7 days’ written notice of its intention to withhold consent to the assignment of an Allphones franchise on the basis that the new franchisee must enter into a new franchise agreement."

The statement from the ACCC reported that “Allphones acknowledged that its conduct was both wrongful and culpable, and apologised to the Court and franchisees.”

In addition, “Allphones made joint recommendations with the ACCC to the court as to the appropriate fine,” the statement read.