Amazon Canada fined $1 million plus costs for misleading price claims on website
TORONTO — Amazon Canada has been slapped with a $1-million fine by the country’s Competition Bureau over misleading price claims.
The news comes after a Bureau investigation into the online retailer’s past pricing practices, which compared its prices to a regular “list price” and in so doing suggested a savings incentive for consumers. Amazon did not verify that the list prices provided by its suppliers were accurate, the Bureau found.
“These claims created the impression that prices for items offered on http://www.Amazon.ca were lower than prevailing market prices,” reads a statement from the Bureau, which noted Amazon will also pay $100,000 of the government agency’s costs to resolve the dispute.
“The agreement reached today resolves the Bureau’s concerns and sends a clear message to the marketplace that unsubstantiated savings claims will not be tolerated.”
The investigation related to pricing practices on http://www.Amazon.ca between May 2014 and May 2016 and advertised on its home site, in Amazon mobile apps, in online ads and in emails sent to customers.
The online retailer has since made changes to the way it advertises list prices on its Canadian website and the policies have extended to savings claims for products sold on www.Amazon.com.
“Consumers are naturally attracted to claims that they will save money,” said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition. “This ensures that consumers are provided with accurate information and not misled by savings claims.”