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Amazon to pay Canada fine over pricing practices

© AFP/File | Amazon relied on its suppliers to provide list prices for its Canadian website without verifying that those prices were accurate

MONTREAL (AFP) - 

The Canadian branch of US online retailer Amazon will pay Can$1.1 million ($836,967) over allegedly misleading pricing on its website, the government said Wednesday.

The Competition Bureau, after a months-long investigation of Amazon pricing practices between May 2014 and May 2016, concluded that the company's common practice of comparing its prices to a regular price, or "list price," suggesting savings for consumers, was misleading.

The agency determined that Amazon relied on its suppliers to provide list prices for its Canadian website without verifying that those prices were accurate.

"These claims created the impression that prices for items offered on www.amazon.ca were lower than prevailing market prices," the Canadian antitrust watchdog agency said in a statement.

Amazon will pay a Can$1 million penalty and Can$100,000 towards the Competition Bureau's costs as part of an agreement settling the agency's concerns, it said.

The agency noted that Amazon had already changed the way it advertises list prices on its Canadian website to accurately represent the savings available to consumers.

The new policies "have had an effect beyond the Canadian website, including on savings claims for products sold on www.amazon.com," Amazon's US website, it added.

© 2017 AFP