It's more than just a slap on the wrist for an Australian based spamming company that now faces a $5.5 Million fine. Both the company and the company director are responsible for the huge fine, which was brought about because of roughly 280 million spam mails sent over the course of 2 years. The director himself owes $1 Million of the total. As the article mentions, this is the first time an Australian company has been fined under these circumstances. It still doesn't happen often in other parts of the world, though most recently it has been increasingly common to see spammers punished, whether monetarily or through services being shut down. It was just a few short months ago that the FTC levied a similar $4 Million fine against a spammer.
Some companies are affected more than others. There are examples of companies being forced to upgrade their email servers or being forced to ditch them altogether in lieu of 3rd-party hosting due to the incredible amount of spam the servers have to process. These fines, really, are a drop in the bucket.