NOTICE BY CURRY'S ART STORE LIMITED REGARDING ADVERTISED PRICES
The Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) has informed Curry’s Art Store Limited (“Curry’s”) that price advertising for art supplies it sold, which contained representations of “manufacturer’s suggested retail prices” or “list prices”, have raised concerns under the civil ordinary price provisions of the Competition Act. Those provisions seek to ensure that when products are advertised using comparative prices, consumers are not misled with regard to the savings that they are actually able to realize through the purchase of the products. The Bureau believes that the price advertising of Curry’s may have misled consumers into believing that art supplies were regularly sold at “list prices”.
Curry’s does not admit to any conduct contrary to the Competition Act. Curry’s was unaware of and did not have compliance systems in place concerning Ordinary Price Claims as outlined in subsections 74.01 (2) and 74.01 (3) of the Act and, upon being notified of same, Curry’s immediately commenced implementing a corporate compliance program. However, in recognition of both the Bureau’s concerns and the importance of providing accurate information to consumers, the Bureau and Curry’s have filed a Consent Agreement with the Competition Tribunal which addresses the Bureau’s concerns. The Agreement shall remain in effect for 10 years. Pursuant to the Agreement, Curry’s shall, among other things,:
* publish this Corrective Notice in two Ontario publications, in its retail stores, on its Web site and in its Holiday Gift Guide 2008;
* ensure that all of its future price advertising complies with the Competition Act;
* develop and implement a corporate compliance program designed to ensure compliance with the Competition Act; and
* pay an administrative monetary penalty.
The Consent Agreement can be found on the Competition Tribunal’s web site at www.ct-tc.gc.ca.
For additional information, consult the Competition Bureau Canada’s web site at www.cb-bc.gc.ca.