Two Calgary taxi companies have joined forces to bring a lawsuit against a competitor that they allege has been using deceptive advertising to poach their customers. The competitor was founded in 2014 by a man who had previously worked as a driver for one of the plaintiffs, and he denies the accusations while maintaining that the two established companies are teaming up to make the market less competitive.
The lawsuit stems from allegedly deceptive advertisements on the Google search engine that appear to promote the services of the plaintiffs while including the contact details of the defendant. The business and commercial law lawsuit seeks damages of around $600,000 as well as a call for the defendant to cease and desist the online advertising.
The president of one of the companies bringing the lawsuit says that he discovered the problem when a customer informed him about the online ads. In addition to legal action, the matter has also been referred to the City of Calgary livery department.
The two plaintiffs deny that their action stems from personal animosity, and they claim that the ads in question have damaged the good names of their businesses. However, the defendant asserts that the lawsuit is an attempt to run him out of business.
This case demonstrates how business disputes can sometimes become heated when the parties involved operate in a highly regulated and competitive market. It also shows that developing technology provides new challenges as well as fresh opportunities. A lawyer with experience in this area could determine if the situation requires tact or a more rigid approach whether a resolution is being sought through mediation or litigation.
Source: MetroNews Canada, "Rival brokers sue Calgary United Cabs for $600K over ‘deceptive’ Google ads", Jeremy Nolais, September 02, 2014