03/11/2015 01:11 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 05:59 EDT

Avis, Budget Accused Of False Advertising By Competition Bureau

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Customers return a rental car to the Avis Budget Group Inc. location for LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Since its 2012 acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. brought most of the industry under the control of three main companies, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. has been unable to take advantage of the pricing power its consolidation wrought, while Avis Budget Group Inc. has raised its outlook and seen its stock rise. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images

OTTAWA - The Competition Bureau has accused rental car companies Avis and Budget as well as their parent company of false or misleading advertising.

The federal agency has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal seeking $30 million in administrative penalties and refunds for consumers from Aviscar, Budgetcar and Avis Budget Group Inc.

The bureau alleges Avis and Budget advertise prices that are not attainable due to additional fees imposed during the rental.

It also says the fees are characterized as taxes, surcharges and fees that governments and agencies require Avis and Budget to collect.

"In fact, Avis and Budget impose these charges to recoup part of their own cost of doing business," the bureau said.

"As a result, consumers end up paying higher prices or receiving lower discounts than advertised."

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