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Regulator accuses 2 firms of ‘abuse of dominance’ in water heater market

Regulator accuses 2 firms of ‘abuse of dominance’ in water heater market

David Leblanc

The federal competition watchdog is accusing two home water heater rental companies of "abuse of dominance" in the Ontario.

The Competition Bureau says it's seeking a total of $25-million in fines – $15-million from Direct Energy and $10-million from Reliance Comfort.

The companies say they'll oppose the allegations before the Competition Tribunal, the federal agency that hears cases brought by the Bureau.

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The Bureau says the companies have return policies and procedures that are aimed at preventing consumers from switching to a competitor.

The Bureau says customers are subjected to aggressive tactics when they call to return a rented water heater.

It also alleges there are unwarranted fees and charges as well as restrictions on when and where water heaters can be returned.

More to come

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