The general prohibition on false or misleading advertising under the Competition Act contains two adjudicative regimes, criminal (subsection 52(1)) and civil (subsection 74.01(1)(a)), that can be used to address the same conduct – the making of a materially false or misleading representation to the public for the purpose of promoting one’s product or business interest.
False or misleading advertising
In a recent article, the Competition Bureau’s focus on high-impact, consumer-focused digital economy investigations, including specifically investigations into drip pricing practices was highlighted. On June 27, 2019, the Bureau announced that its investigation into such practices by Ticketmaster had concluded with a consent agreement.
The Competition Bureau announced last March that it has initiated proceedings against Aviscar, Budget and their parent company, Avis Budget Group Inc.. The Bureau alleges that the Companies engaged in false or misleading advertising in that they advertised misleading prices to consumers. The Bureau’s application seeks, among other remedies, a total of $30 million in administrative monetary penalties and refunds to affected customers.