After a two-year investigation by Canada's antitrust agency, Amazon Canada has agreed to change its pricing strategy in Canada and pay a fine of Can$1.1 million (about US$840,000) for displaying misleading prices about savings.
Here's how the online retail giant's strategy backfired: Amazon had been showing a comparison of its own prices with higher retail prices it claimed were being charged by its competitors. After observing Blu-ray prices on Amazon.com's Canadian website for two years, the Competition Bureau concluded that competitors' retail prices were often misquoted. In some instances, retailers sold products at prices lower than those that had been listed for a year or more. Thus, the savings supposedly incurred by purchasing on Amazon were incorrect.
The company currently makes up 2.3 percent of total retail sales in Canada, according to the Wall Street Journal's report of the settlement. The Competition Bureau told the Journal that Amazon's cooperation during the investigating helped it receive "more favorable [treatment] than would otherwise have been the case."