A Christchurch company has been fined for faking bids on the online auction site TradeMe.
The Morrison Car Company was fined $45,000 and ordered to pay $1000 in court costs after it pleaded guilty to breaching the Fair Trading Act.
The company admitted listing at least 39 cars on the auction site with a $1 reserve, then bidding on them to drive up the price.
Judge Farish says the company's excuse that it was bidding on behalf of actual customers is implausible and pointed out that the offending damages TradeMe as well as its customers.
The Morrison Car Company also admitted failing to display or provide consumer information notices with the vehicles.