Wowzers… a wind has blown through Canada and it could cost Rogers $10 million (plus restitution) . Remember a few months back when new entrant Mobilicity complained to the Competition Bureau that Rogers new discount wireless brand was – as Chairman John Bitove stated – “trying to destroy our success”. Or how about when Wind Mobile Chairman Tony Lacavera stated that “There is absolutely no solid or objective technical basis” that Chatr advertising they have “fewer dropped calls than new wireless carriers”.
Well today the Competition Bureau completed their 2 month investigation and has begun legal proceedings against Rogers Communications Inc. to stop what the Bureau has concluded is misleading advertising of Rogers’ Chatr”.
According to the release on the Competition Bureau’s website it states that “The Bureau’s investigation, which involved an extensive review of technical data, obtained from a number of sources, led the Bureau to conclude that there is no discernible difference in dropped call rates between Rogers/Chatr and new entrants”.
The Competition Bureau is going to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and asking Rogers to:
- immediately stop the advertising campaign and refrain from engaging in similar campaigns
- pay an administrative monetary penalty of $10 million dollars;
- pay restitution to affected customers; and
- issue a corrective notice to inform the general public about the nature and provisions of the order issued against them.
Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition said that “We take misleading advertising very seriously. Consumers deserve accurate information when making purchasing decisions and need to have confidence they are not being misled by false advertising campaigns. The spectrum auction was intended to enhance competition in the wireless sector… New entrants attempting to gain a foothold in the market should not be discredited by misleading claims made by their competitors.”
HUGE news for the new entrants. Over $10 million… that’s a serious amount of discounted handsets they have to sell to make that money back.
Update: It seems that this is not a done deal yet. The Competition Bureau is only at a stage of “asking” the Court for Rogers to do the above. Regardless – they will end up paying some sort of amount for the false claims.
Update #2: Wind Mobile has just responded to the news by the Competition Bureau: (more…)