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March 8, 2017

On July 1, 2014, Canada’s new federal anti-spam legislation (CASL) largely came into force. Since it was introduced, both the CRTC (the primary enforcement body) and the Competition Bureau have been enforcing the legislation, with penalties to date ranging from $48,000 to $1.1 million.

Beginning on July 1, 2017, however, the risks of violating CASL, as well as related sections of PIPEDA (the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) and the Competition Act, will be significantly greater. This is because private individuals and organizations affected by a violation of CASL will have a right to commence private actions when sections 47 to 51 and 55 come into force.

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March 7, 2017

Misleading advertising remains a top Competition Bureau (Bureau) enforcement priority. One of the more specific focuses for the Bureau is (and has been over the past several years) fake online endorsements, which is often referred to as “astroturfing”.

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March 6, 2017

I receive quite a few inquiries about how the Competition Bureau (Bureau) works, what kinds of claims can be made under the Competition Act and how to report potential competition law violations to the Bureau (and what remedies are available). One topic I find I am increasingly discussing with both potential clients and other counsel is whistleblowing. So I thought I would post a short summary of whistleblowing and the Competition Act.

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February 28, 2017

In an interesting development, the Ontario Government announced earlier today that it was reviewing the rules for the purchase and sale of online tickets in an effort to give consumers a fairer chance at buying sporting, theatre and other event tickets online and to potentially further regulate ticket re-sellers.

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February 28, 2017

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it will be hosting its third FinTech Forum on March 9th – on the topics of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. According to the FTC, it will hold two panels: one on the benefits and risks to consumers as AI is adapted to financial services; and the second considering potential consumer implications of blockchain and its new applications.

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February 23, 2017

Earlier today, the Law Society of Upper Canada’s (LSUC) governing body (Convocation) announced new requirements to lawyer advertising in Ontario. Convocation’s decision was the culmination of several years of work and review, which included a special Advertising and Fee Arrangements Working Group (Working Group), two Professional Regulation Committee reports (see here and here) and consultations with practitioners and the public (see Advertising and Fee Arrangements for an overview of the LSUC’s lawyer advertising review process).

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February 22, 2017

The Competition Bureau (Bureau) continues to enforce the sale related sections of the Competition Act. Earlier today, it announced that it will commence an application with the federal Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) in relation to the alleged deceptive marketing of sleep sets (mattresses and foundations sold together) by the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC).

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February 15, 2017

Practical Law Canada Competition has published a new Legal Update, which discusses the Competition Bureau’s FinTech and competition work over the past year. Below is an excerpt with a link to the full Update.

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This Legal Update provides an update on the Competition Bureau’s (Bureau) ongoing FinTech market study. It includes background for the Bureau’s FinTech related advocacy, recent activities and details for its FinTech workshop on February 21, 2017. This Update also includes some potential implications of the Bureau’s review of the financial technology sector.

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January 24, 2017

Yesterday, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) issued a Business Alert warning businesses to ensure that their eco-related claims, such as using the terms “organic”, “green” and “eco-friendly”, comply with the federal Competition Act, particularly the false or misleading advertising and performance claim provisions. See: It’s not easy being green. Businesses must back up their words.

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