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.