Moola pinged for cartel behaviour

The on-line money lender Moola has been pinged for operating as a cartel.

Tuesday, December 21st 2021, 5:33PM

by Eric Frykberg

The High Court granted declarations sought by the Commerce Commission that this was being done.

The Commission says Moola reached agreements with other consumer credit or loan providers to restrict access to each others material via keywords used on Google Ads.

Commission chair Anna Rawlings says this conduct meant that consumers searching for a consumer credit provider on Google may not see ads for other loan providers.

This limited their access to information about alternative companies and services, and is likely to have reduced the ability of consumers to make informed choices when selecting a loan provider.

“Competitive keyword advertising is important for businesses and consumers alike,” Rawlings said.

“It allows businesses to have their online ads shown to potential customers at a time when they are actively searching for the relevant products and services, and consumers benefit from obtaining information on competing products and services in response to searches for a particular brand.”

She said these agreements might have resulted in consumers paying higher prices and acquiring consumer finance services on unfavourable or less suitable terms. The likelihood of harm would have been higher for vulnerable consumers.

Moola co-operated with the Commission’s investigation, accepted that it contravened the Act, and agreed to declarations being made by the Court.

Moola is a consumer finance company providing high-cost short term loans up to $5,000 via on-line applications.

Tags: commerce commission

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