April 17th, 2024

Cineplex has made almost $40 million from online booking fees in competition case

By The Canadian Press on February 27, 2024.

Cineplex Inc. has made almost $40 million from online booking fees at the heart of a deceptive marketing case the country's competition commissioner is waging against the cinema chain. A Cineplex Odeon Cinema is shown in Oshawa on Friday January 21, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives

TORONTO – Cineplex Inc. has made almost $40 million from online booking fees at the heart of deceptive marketing claims the country’s competition commissioner has made against the cinema chain.

An agreed statement of facts filed in the case before the Competition Tribunal shows Canada’s largest theatre owner made over $11.6 million in the six months after the fees were implemented in June 2022.

It made another $27.3 million on the fees in 2023.

Cineplex charges a $1.50 on every ticket purchased online, but Scene+ members get a discount and CineClub members have the fee waived.

Competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell alleges the fees are deceptive because moviegoers are not presented with the full price of a movie ticket on the very first page they encounter when buying tickets from Cineplex.

Cineplex has argued Boswell’s claims are without merit and should be thrown out, with costs awarded to Cineplex, because moviegoers are told about fees they may face from the start of the purchase process.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CGX)

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