Competition Bureau takes action to protect competition for car sharing services in Canada
Car sharing platform Turo terminates problematic exclusivity policy in Canada in response to Bureau investigation
May 18, 2022 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau announced today that following an investigation, Turo Inc. has amended its terms of service in Canada to remove a policy that prevented users from listing the same vehicle on other car sharing platforms at the same time it is listed on Turo’s platform.
This is good news for competition in the car sharing space and in digital markets where anti-competitive conduct can lock in a company’s strong market position and prevent innovative alternatives from entering the market.
After receiving complaints about Turo’s exclusivity policy, the Bureau gathered information and launched its investigation. It examined the potential harm of this policy on competition, and on current and future users’ ability to use multiple platforms in Canada.
The exclusivity policy prohibited users who share their cars (known as hosts) from listing the same cars on competing platforms at the same time. Hosts who listed the same vehicle on multiple platforms were asked to remove one of those listings. If they did not, then the host may have been subject to sanctions from Turo, including removal of the vehicle from its platform. When the Bureau began its investigation in the summer of 2021, the policy applied to hosts in all countries where Turo operates.
The Bureau notified Turo that it had opened a formal inquiry under the Competition Act and identified its concerns. Shortly thereafter, Turo stopped enforcing the exclusivity policy within Canada and updated its terms of service as of January 17, 2022.
The Bureau examined allegations under the abuse of dominance provisions of the Act. In the course of its investigation, the Bureau contacted a wide range of market participants to collect information, verify the allegations, and conduct its analysis.
The Bureau will continue to monitor the market to ensure that Turo does not re-establish this or a similar policy in the future.
A complete position statement summarizing the Bureau’s findings is available on its website.
The Bureau encourages the public to report any circumstances where similar conduct is observed in any sector of the marketplace. Should the Bureau find evidence of conduct that harms competition, it will take action.
“The removal of Turo’s exclusivity policy is good news for competition in Canada. This change helps new, innovative players striving to offer services in an evolving digital market.”
Commissioner of Competition
Turo operates a peer-to-peer (P2P) car sharing platform that allows hosts to share their vehicle(s) to users who wish to book a vehicle (usually called guests). It is the largest P2P car sharing platform in Canada, with more guests and hosts than any other similar platforms.
Turo began operating in Canada in 2016 and during the course of the Bureau’s review has been active in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
Hosts include those who share their personal car(s), to those with fleets of cars. In addition to bringing together hosts and guests, P2P car sharing platforms also facilitate insurance coverage for their trips.
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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.
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