The Competition Bureau
announced on July 28, 2011 that it had filed an action against
five companies (Yellow Business Marketing Ltd. in Canada; Yellow
Publishing Ltd. and Yellow Data Services Ltd. in the UK; Yellow
Page Marketing B.V. in the Netherlands, and Backoffice Support SL
in Spain) and three individuals (Brandon Marsh, manager of Yellow
Business Marketing Ltd. and Jan Marks and Steve Green, Spanish
residents) with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in connection
with a deceptive marketing scheme targeting businesses in
"We are committed to cracking down on fraud that victimizes
consumers and businesses. Significantly, the action we are taking
today underscores the importance of working with our international
partners to frustrate these types of multi-jurisdictional
scams." said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition.
Working closely with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC),
the Bureau found, through an international investigation, that the
accused were faxing one-page forms that displayed a logo which
closely resembled the recognizable Yellow Pages Group (YPG)
trademark to businesses who thought the communication was from the
well-known YPG. The forms created the impression that they would be
used to update the business' information on an online directory
listing but the fine print stated that completing the form
committed the business to a two-year contract at an annual cost of
$1,428 for the listing. Any businesses refusing to pay were pursued
with collection actions. The business scheme, operating since
January 2010, was found to be in violation of the false or
misleading and deceptive practices provisions of the Competition
David Vladeck, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection for
the FTC, commented "We applaud our colleagues in Canada for
leading this international effort and also for providing support in
our investigation." The Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission (ACCC) also sought court action against two of the five
companies sued by the Bureau which resulted in penalties of A$2.7
The Bureau is seeking, among other things, administrative
monetary penalties totalling $11,550,000 CAD, the publication of
corrective notices, and restitution for the victims of the
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The Commissioner of Competition addressed innovation, enforcement and policy initiatives at the Competition Bureau in his keynote speech, "Strengthening Competition: Innovation, Collaboration and Transparency."
Used car listing website operator CarGurus Inc.'s attempt to force rival Trader Corporation to supply it with vehicle listing data has encountered a dead end as the Competition Tribunal denied it leave to commence a private application under several provisions of the Competition Act.
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