On September 22, 2011, the Competition Bureau (the Bureau) announced that charges had been laid
against five individuals and four Montreal-based companies involved
in an allegedly fraudulent telemarketing operation. According to
the Bureau's Backgrounder, the companies hired
telemarketers to contact businesses and falsely suggest (i) that
the telemarketers were regular suppliers of the businesses looking
to obtain renewals for services; (ii) that purchases of medical
kits were required to comply with new legislation; (iii) that an
order had already been pre-authorized by someone else in the
business; or (iv) that the purpose of the telemarketer's call
was to verify an address when in fact it was to obtain an order
confirmation. The companies allegedly sold products which were
inflated up to ten times the market value, and threatened
collection actions against businesses when they refused to pay.
Based in Montreal, the telemarketing operation had allegedly
targeted businesses in Canada, the United States, Europe and
Central America since at least 2001. The accused individuals and
companies are charged with deceptive telemarketing and misleading
representations (both criminal offences) under the Competition Act, and
fraud under the Criminal Code. Last
year, in remarks made to the International
Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network, the Commissioner of
Competition remarked that "[i]t is now clear that victims do
not need to be Canadian in order for [the Bureau] to take action.
This is an important step forward in the international fight
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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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