A PYMNTS Company

First constitutional challenge to civil penalties for misleading advertising

 |  January 30, 2012

Rogers has made constitutional arguments in response to the Competition Bureau’s allegations that Rogers misled consumers in its performance claims for the Chatr cell phone. The claims are that Chatr has “fewer dropped calls than new wireless carriers”; the Competition Bureau has taken the view that such claims are unsubstantiated and cannot be substantiated because dropped call rates are not disclosed by new entrant cell phone carriers.

Rogers claims that the civil performance claim provision of the Competition Act contravenes freedom of expression as under the Charter. Furthermore, Rogers adds, the penalties for civil misleading advertising, which were recently revised to be as large as $10 million for corporations, are penal in nature, and thus, unconstitutional without procedural protections. As such, Rogers brings the first constitutional challenge to these revised penalties.

Source: Competition Bureau Press Release