Commerce Commission alleges Moola engaged in cartel conduct

The Commerce Commission has filed proceedings in Christchurch’s High Court against payday lender Moola alleging they engaged in cartel conduct relating to online advertising.

The Commission is seeking declarations that Moola, owned by NZ Fintech Limited, reached agreements with other consumer loan providers that they would not bid on each other’s brand names on Google Ads, breaching the Commerce Act.

The Commission also alleges agreements were reached that the companies would negatively match certain keywords, meaning consumers who searched for a loan provider on Google may not see ads for other loan providers.

Cartel conduct includes price fixing, market allocation and bid rigging.

The Herald has contacted NZ Fintech for comment.

Moola offers high-cost short term loans up to $5,000.

The Commission is not seeking a pecuniary penalty in this proceeding.

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