Competition Bureau Goes After Rogers Communications for Misleading Advertising

Not a fortnight after resolving the alleged anti-competitive behaviour by the Canadian Real Estate association’s administration of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), the competition bureau has turned its teeth to Rogers Communication in a big way.The government agency, whose mandate is to ensure  Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace, has levied a fine of $ 10 million on Rogers for misleading advertising.

The Bureau alleges that Rogers misled the consuming public by stating their discount wireless service Chat’r has ‘ the fewest dropped calls than any other network’. Rival discount wireless provider Wind Mobile took umbrage and filed a complaint with the Bureau stating that carrier to carrier call transition is seamless and that advertising claims put forward in the Rogers campaign are baseless and misleading. The Bureau agreed and slapped the Rogers with a $ 10 million fine. Wow!

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) must be relieved to have the sharp-toothed watchdog off it’s back, for now. The agreement reached on 28 October essentially allowed al a carte real estate services to be provided by realtors who utilize the MLS to market clients’ properties. This 10 year agreement avoided further (very expensive) court action to ratify an agreement that was already in place, and has been for years. From what I can tell after two years, it all ended up a zero-sum game. Great for the lawyers and the six-figure salaried civil servants at the competition bureau but not so much for everyone else.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m relieved that CREA is no longer in the competition bureaus petri-dish.

My question is where does the line get drawn between rewarding market efficiency and entrepreneurial success and punishing market dominance? An even more interesting question is how government employees (the anti-entrepreneur or socialist if you like) are deemed qualified to draw this line.

Feel free to post you comments if you feel I’m missing something here?

I am a Vancouver realtor and mortgage broker who has been in the real estate industry for 12 years.  My formal education includes a Bachelor’s of Commerce from the University of Natal and a diploma in Urban Land Economics from UBC

I enjoy many outdoor pursuits such as fishing, surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and camping.

Vancouver is a great place to live!