BUSINESS

Rogers Misleading Advertising Claim Dismissed; Competition Bureau May Appeal

08/21/2013 11:35 EDT | Updated 08/21/2013 11:36 EDT
AP
The Rodgers Communications sign marks the company's headquarters in Toronto, Wednesday, April 25, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Vincent Elkaim)

The Competition Bureau isn't satisfied with a court ruling throwing out allegations of misleading advertising against Rogers Communications Inc.'s Chatr cellphone brand, which claimed fewer dropped calls than its new wireless competitors when it launched in 2010.

The Competition Bureau said Tuesday that it was reviewing the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision and may appeal.

"We are disappointed that the court did not agree that Rogers' claims were misleading to consumers and we are currently considering our next steps in this matter," John Pecman, commissioner of competition, said.

Three years ago, the Competition Bureau asked the courts to order Rogers to immediately stop the advertising campaign and pay an administrative penalty of $10 million - the maximum under the law.

At that time, new competitor Wind Mobile had filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau over claims by Rogers that Chatr had fewer dropped calls and a better network than its new competitors.

The talk-and-text Chatr brand was launched at the time to compete with new entrants Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, Public Mobile and Quebecor's Videotron.

The Competition Bureau alleged that network performance claims for Chatr weren't based on "adequate and proper tests," adding that Rogers dismantled the advertising campaign within a month of the Bureau filing its application in November 2010.

Rogers Communications Inc. said it was pleased the court has confirmed that Chatr's advertising of fewer dropped calls was fair and accurate.

"We support clear, accurate and consumer-friendly advertising," Rogers said. "There is no doubt that Rogers' network performed better than networks of new wireless carriers and we believed it was important that consumers had that information."

"The court also confirmed that the drive testing used by Rogers is the best method for comparing network performance and is universally accepted, both in Canada and internationally," Rogers said.

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