Canada

June 2017

CASL Private Right Of Action On Hold

The government has repealed the section of the 2013 order that would have enacted the private right of action under the Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act.
http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/oic-ddc.asp?lang=eng&Page=secretariats&txtOICID=&txtFromDate=&txtToDate=&txtPrecis=&txtDepartment=&txtAct=telecommunications&txtChapterNo=&txtChapterYear=&txtBillNo=&rdoComingIntoForce=&DoSearch=Search+%2F+List&viewattach=34498&blnDisplayFlg=1
jbho: another one that’s been well covered in the media. I don’t have much to add other than don’t forget, this would also have applied to:
• Use of harvested addresses (email, IM, or similar)
• Spyware
• Deceptive (email) marketing

Helpful Links:
CASL: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-1.6/index.html
Competition Act: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-34/index.html
PIPEDA: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-8.6/index.html

 


February 2017

Competition Bureau Settles With Amazon Over ‘List Prices’

Amazon allegedly allowed misleading ‘list prices’ to be displayed on items for sale on amazon.ca. The Competition Bureau determined that although Amazon relied on its suppliers to provide list prices, it failed to verify the prices were accurate before using them in its own advertising. The alleged inaccurate list prices (hence misleading savings) were then advertised on amazon.ca, in Amazon mobile apps, in online ads, and emails.

amz-cdn-ex

The Bureau found the prices listed could not be validated based on (i) volume of sales (market suppliers did not sell the evaluated product in substantial volumes at the quoted list prices), or (ii) sales over time (market suppliers did not sell the evaluated product at the quoted list prices over the previous six months).

Under the settlement, Amazon has amended its list price advertising, and must pay a $1 million penalty, as well as pay the Competition Bureau an additional $100,000 to cover the costs of the Bureau’s investigation. The Bureau commended Amazon for its cooperation in the investigation, as well as for voluntarily taking proactive steps to ensure compliance with the Competition Act.
http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04187.html
jbho: a reminder to perform timely due diligence on your business partners.

Note that the ASA recently cited amazon.co.uk, alleging similar conduct:
“Because they had not substantiated that the item was generally sold at the RRP, we concluded that the ad … was misleading.” https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/amazon-europe-core-sarl-a16-343173.html

For a quick refresher on pricing claims, see: http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/vwapj/20100409_OrdinaryPriceClaims-e.pdf/$FILE/20100409_OrdinaryPriceClaims-e.pdf

Other interesting developments in the Great White North:

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