Competition Bureau movie ticket price dripping case should be dismissed: Cineplex

A Cineplex Odeon Theatre is shown in Toronto on December 16, 2019. Cineplex Inc. saw its first-quarter loss narrow compared with a year ago as its revenue increased nearly 50 per cent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim. AVE

TORONTO — Cineplex Inc. says a case the Competition Bureau recently launched against the theatre chain should be dismissed because it’s based on a “mischaracterization.”

The case from the competition watchdog is based on the premise that fees applied to some Cineplex movie tickets bought online constitute price dripping, where customers are drawn into a purchase without full disclosure of the final cost.

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The bureau alleged in May that consumers can’t buy tickets online at advertised prices because there is a mandatory $1.50 fee for booking online.

In a court filing, Cineplex says there is no price dripping in its purchase process because moviegoers are told about fees they may face as soon as they select a screening and type of ticket.

Cineplex says a customer who decides to purchase a ticket online is shown the price, including fees, on the first page of the buying process.

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It adds that moviegoers can skip the fee entirely by making a purchase in theatres or by being a member of their CineClub membership program.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2023.

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