Philip Morris has threatened the Australian government with legal action over its bid to impose plain packaging on cigarettes.

The Marlboro maker’s Asian arm said proposals to ban logos from tobacco products would violate a trade agreement between Australia and Hong Kong.

It has warned that it will pursue compensation in the courts for loss of business unless a deal is thrashed out with the Australian authorities.

A spokesman for the tobacco giant said the company believed it would be entitled to compensation “in the billions” of dollars.

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Tobacco plain packaging awaits Australian retailers (Convenience Store; 11 April 2011)
Tobacco display ban gets go-ahead for 2012 (9 March 2011)

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