The Competition Bureau released its 2019-2020 Annual Plan titled Safeguarding the Future of Competition on July 25, 2019. As per recent publications and speeches, digital economy issues remain a key focus.
In the introduction, the Commissioner notes that “Canada's digital economy is at a critical juncture, and it needs consumer trust to keep on growing. Over the coming year, the Bureau will seek out and investigate deceptive marketing and anti-competitive practices, so that Canadians can enjoy greater trust in the online marketplace. We will provide timely and accurate information to help consumers make informed choices, for example, by investigating misleading pricing practices”.
Notable takeaways for CMA members:
- Clear focus on increased pro-competitive public policy and outcomes that will benefit Canadians.
- Ensuring truth in advertising and sales practices.
- Continued action to combat deceptive online conduct which includes fake consumer reviews and testimonials, misleading terms and conditions, subscription traps of free or ‘low cost’ trials of products and services and advertised prices that are unattainable.
- Section I6 in the CMA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice provides guidance on price claims, testimonials and endorsements.
- Increased choice for mobile and internet services as well as the release of its Broadband Market Study report that examined competition and consumer habits in purchasing internet services.
- Big data and its implications on competition.
In closing, the Commissioner states that the Bureau will develop a four-year plan that will guide the rest of his term.
The regulatory landscape is constantly changing and staying up-to-date is important. If you are unsure of where to turn, the Canadian Marketing Association provides guidance and support to its members on a wide variety of issues. Check our site for resources and stay up to date by subscribing to our Top 5 Picks e-newsletter through MyCMA.
Author: Florentina Stancu-Soare | Senior Manager, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs @CMA
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