514-BILLETS to pay $100,000 for allegedly violating Canada's anti-spam law

News release

May 1, 2018 – Gatineau – Ottawa – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

The CRTC announced today that the companies 9118-9076 QUÉBEC INC. and 9310-6359 QUÉBEC INC., operating as 514-BILLETS, whose main business activity is ticket resale for sporting and cultural events, have agreed to an undertaking to resolve alleged violations of Canada's anti-spam legislation, including total compensation of $100,000.

An investigation launched by the CRTC's Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer alleged that the companies failed to comply with various requirements of the legislation between July 2014 and January 2016. During this period, the company allegedly sent text messages without the recipient's consent, without information identifying the person who sent the messages, and without information enabling the recipient to readily contact the sender.

In recognition of the alleged violations, the companies have agreed to pay an amount of $75,000 in the form of $10 rebate coupons offered to 7,500 clients and have paid $25,000 to the Receiver General for Canada.

In addition, to ensure that its future activities are fully compliant with Canada’s anti-spam legislation, the companies will put in place a compliance program and appoint an officer responsible for organizational compliance.


Quotes

"Today’s announcement demonstrates our comprehensive approach to reduce unsolicited communications sent to Canadians, whether via email or text message. For the first time under Canada's anti-spam legislation, the 514-BILLETS investigation concerned text messages. Companies that promote their products and services need to comply with the CASL, which applies to any form of commercial electronic message."

- Steven Harroun, CRTC Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer.

Quick facts

  • Canada’s anti-spam legislation protects Canadian consumers and businesses from electronic threats, while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace.

  • For the first time under the legislation, the undertaking is related to the sending of commercial electronic messages to Canadians on their mobile devices.

  • Commercial electronic messages include any message sent to an email account, a telephone account or an instant messaging account with the purpose of encouraging participation in a commercial activity. This includes text messages.

  • Canadians are encouraged to report spam to the Spam Reporting Centre. Their submissions helps support the enforcement activities of the federal agencies responsible for ensuring compliance with the legislation.

  • Since Canada’s anti-spam legislation came into force, enforcement efforts have resulted in payments of over $468,000 further to undertakings and penalties totaling over $1.75 million.

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