US & Canada

Amazon Canada fined $1.1m for misleading pricing

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Image caption Amazon.ca was fined for overstating customer savings.

Amazon Canada has been fined 1.1m Canadian dollars (£689,000, or $837,000) over misleading savings claims.

Canada's Competition Bureau penalised the company following a two-year investigation in to its pricing practices.

The bureau is in charge of enforcing many of Canada's consumer laws.

"Consumers are naturally attracted to claims that they will save money," said commissioner John Pecman.

Following the investigation, Amazon agreed to change its pricing practices and pay a fee, which includes a $1m penalty and $100,000 to help cover the cost of the investigation.

"We're pleased that Amazon has put procedures in place to validate list prices received from its suppliers. This ensures that consumers are provided with accurate information and not misled by savings claims," Mr Pecman wrote in a news release.

The investigation found that Amazon routinely advertised consumer savings by comparing its prices to list prices at other retailers. However, it didn't verify these "list prices", which meant that the savings could be exaggerated, the bureau found.

Amazon had already begun to fix its pricing practices before the investigation, according to the bureau.

Amazon says the policies now in place will effect not just the Canadian website, but savings claims made on Amazon.com as well.

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