05 Dec Amp Me Issued $1.5M AMP for Purchasing Positive Reviews and Fake Free Trials
Kelly Harris and Jane Huang
The Competition Bureau has reached an agreement with mobile music application Amp Me Inc. regarding the Bureau’s concerns about the false or misleading claims made by the application and its alleged purchase of positive reviews.
Amp Me Inc. is an app that synchronizes multiple devices across Canada and the U.S. to enhance the music listening experience. The Bureau investigation found that the Montreal-based company purchased positive reviews from third parties, creating a false or misleading impression and affecting the app’s ranking on Apple’s App Store in the U.S. The investigation also raised concerns about deceptive impressions made by Amp Me Inc. through its promotional materials on social media, including text and videos, suggesting that the app was available for free when it was a limited free trial.
As part of the consent agreement with the Bureau, Amp Me Inc. has agreed to pay a partial penalty of $310,000 upon signing the agreement in satisfaction of the imposed administrative monetary penalty of $1,500,000 CAD. The Bureau decided to partially suspend the penalty due to Amp Me Inc.’s limited financial capacity. Amp Me Inc. will pay an additional $40,000 to cover the costs associated with the Bureau’s investigation. As well, Amp Me Inc. has agreed to ensure its marketing practices comply with the Competition Act and maintain a corporate compliance program to promote compliance with the law.
This settlement serves as a reminder of the Bureau’s commitment to safeguarding consumer interests and maintaining fair competition in the marketplace, as well as its ongoing focus on “dark patterns” like free trail traps.