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Competition Bureau fines Discount for misleading advertising

The Ottawa-based Competition Bureau has reached an agreement with Discount Car & Truck Rentals to address what the bureau describes as misleading advertising. The vehicle rental company will pay a $700,000 penalty and review its advertising practices to ensure compliance with the law. According to the bureau, an investigation determined that Discount advertised rental prices which were unattainable by consumers due to mandatory fees added later. The bureau also criticized the company's advertised rebates, which do not apply to the mandatory fees. In addition, the company acted deceptively by falsely describing some of these fees as mandatory taxes or government surcharges.

Discount is the fourth car rental company to reach an agreement with the Competition Bureau regarding misleading advertising. Avis/Budget, Hertz/Dollar Thrifty and Enterprise have also reached agreements with the bureau, resulting in a total of $5.9 million in penalties.

"A few years ago, car rental companies routinely advertised unattainable prices," said Matthew Boswell, interim Commissioner of Competition. "The bureau intervened against Avis and Budget in 2015 and continued pressing forward, demanding change across the industry. As a result, the four major players in Canada's car rental market have now committed to correcting their marketing practices."

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