Amazon Canada Fined $1.1 Million by Competition Bureau Over Pricing Practices

Amazon Canada has been fined $1 million by the Competition Bureau, as part of a settlement regarding the online retail giant’s pricing practices in this country.

According to the Bureau, Amazon “often compared its prices to a regular price—or “list price”—signaling attractive savings for consumers,” but after an investigation, the conclusion was Amazon had “relied on its suppliers to provide list prices without verifying that those prices were accurate.”

Essentially, the savings advertised online, plus in the company’s mobile app and emails to customers were not entirely true, based on this list price discrepancy, which exaggerated savings.

John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition, said in a press release:

“Consumers are naturally attracted to claims that they will save money. We’re pleased that Amazon has put procedures in place to validate list prices received from its suppliers. This ensures that consumers are provided with accurate information and not misled by savings claims. This agreement was reached through collaborative efforts and reflects an innovative approach we call shared compliance.”

Amazon has made changes already to fix how list prices are stated along with savings claims, both on their Canadian and American websites. The penalty of $1 million will be paid by Amazon, plus an additional $100,000 to the Competition Bureau to cover the latter’s costs.

The investigation into Amazon.ca’s pricing practices took place between May 27, 2014 and May 6, 2016.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • FragilityG4

    Good. When I was in car sales this was a big thing we had to adhere to and for good reason. No matter how you look at it it’s deceptive and disingenuous. Having said that I always research before making purchases.

  • DoctorT

    Good on the competition bureau going after this! Amazon’s list prices seemed really bloated for a long time.

  • Riddlemethis

    Don’t think for a second these fines won’t be passed on to the consumer.

  • Tim Aucoin

    I got a great deal from Amazon.ca last month… I got a blender for a steal… Regular price was $4,789 and I got it for an unbelievable price of $1,800.00!!! I just couldn’t turn down such a good deal! 😉 Amazon is not the only retailer trying to play with the consumer’s mind… just look around any mall and ANY store with “SALE”, “CLOSE-OUT SALE”, etc… signs are all doing the same. The so-called “regular price” on the tag is almost always inflated to give the perception of a good deal. When a company or store is selling a product that is PROPERLY valued, they don’t need to EVERY put it on sale. Look at Apple… when do you ever see a sale on their products (except maybe at Christmas)? They don’t need to… and they do just fine. Consumers who buy Apple products know the value they are getting for their money. No smoke screens needed!!!