OTTAWA (Nov. 10)—Sears Canada Inc. is the subject of a current tribunal hearing before the Competition Bureau, a Canadian government agency, on charges the firm advertised false sale prices on five lines of all-season automobile tires. Sears is the first company to be brought to trial under the 1999 revisions of the Competition Act, which set forth guidelines for the advertising of sale prices. The Competition Bureau accuses Sears of pretending to offer special prices on the tires when the advertised regular prices were in fact never offered on a "substantial volume" of tires or over a "substantial" period of time. Sears in turn argues the Competition Bureau isn't considering the "high-low" marketing strategy of large retailers, which entails higher regular prices than other retailers but also lower sale prices. Final arguments in the hearing are scheduled for the week of Dec. 1, but a Competition Bureau spokesman said tie-ups in the evidentiary process may move the final arguments back. Sears faces a $500,000 fine if found guilty.
Canadian government accuses Sears of deceptive tire marketing
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