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Wednesday
Jul122017

Tobacco company Philip Morris ordered to compensate Australia 

Wavebreak Media(SYDNEY) --The Australian government is telling tobacco giant Philip Morris to pay up.

The government ordered Philip Morris to pay millions of dollars in legal costs after the company unsuccessfully sued the country over its "plain-packaging" laws, according to the BBC.

In 2012, Australia enacted a first-of-its-kind law that required cigarettes to be sold in "unappealing packages with graphic health warnings," the BBC reported.

Philip Morris tried to get the laws overturned, but a court dismissed its claim in 2015.

Now, the Australian government wants the company to pay its legal fees, which the Sydney Morning Herald reported could be as high as $50 million. The exact sum was redacted from the court decision.

Philip Morris isn't the only tobacco company that wasn't happy with the Australian packaging laws.  Along with Phillip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco launched a constitutional challenge in the country's highest court, the BBC reported.

That bid failed, but Philip Morris went to the international Permanent Court of Arbitration to argue that the legislation violated Australia's Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong.

The court dismissed the case, calling it an "abuse of rights," according to the BBC.

Philip Morris then unsuccessfully argued that the legal costs were "unreasonable," citing comparable claims made by Canada and the U.S., which reached $4.5 million at the highest.

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