March 24, 2014 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition, issued the following statement with respect to the Competition Bureau’s case relating to certain claims made by Rogers about the dropped call rates of its Chatr brand mobile wireless service:
"Following a careful review of the Court’s decision, we have decided not to appeal in this matter.
We are pleased that the Court found that Rogers contravened the Competition Act. Specifically, the Court recognized that Rogers did not conduct adequate and proper tests to support its performance claims prior to making them. The Court also found that Rogers did not exercise due diligence to prevent the conduct from occurring, and ordered Rogers to pay an administrative monetary penalty of $500,000.
Moving forward, we will continue our work to eliminate performance claims from the marketplace which are not based on adequate and proper testing. Unsupported claims reduce consumer confidence in advertising and are unfair to competitors who play by the rules."
- The Bureau’s legal proceedings alleged that Rogers, in a Canada-wide advertising campaign, made false or misleading representations when promoting its Chatr brand mobile wireless services as having fewer dropped calls than new wireless carriers, and that the fewer dropped calls claims were not based on adequate and proper tests.
- Rogers responded in part by challenging the constitutionality of the performance claim and administrative monetary penalty provisions of the Competition Act. On August 19, 2013, the Court issued its judgment, where it upheld the constitutionality of those provisions.
- In that judgment, the Court dismissed the Commissioner’s allegation that the representations were false or misleading. However, it found that Rogers had not conducted adequate and proper testing to substantiate its performance claims prior to making them in four of the six major markets in which it ran its advertisements, and had consequently engaged in reviewable conduct under the Competition Act.
- On February 21, 2014, the Court ordered Rogers to pay an administrative monetary penalty of $500,000, after having found that Rogers had not exercised due diligence to prevent the reviewable conduct from occurring.
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