The Evolution of Canadian Competition Policy: A Retrospective
The Canadian Business Law Journal, Vol. 60:2, 2018
Posted: 9 Dec 2018
Date Written: March 1, 2018
This paper provides a critical review of the evolution of competition policy in Canada. We first identify four central reforms that have shaped today’s Canadian competition law: the extension of the Competition Act to the services sector; the shift away from the criminal treatment of various types of conduct; the development of the regulated conduct defence; and the introduction of private enforcement. We then discuss both positive developments and unresolved challenges in the areas of horizontal agreements, abuse of dominance and reviewable practices, and merger review, respectively. Finally, we discuss the institutional structure of Canadian competition law and the problematic role of the Competi- tion Tribunal. In providing this retrospective, we suggest that priority for future reforms should be given to designing a more prominent role and coherent framework for private enforcement, addressing some of the remaining inconsistencies between abuse of dominance and reviewable practices, and evaluating possible institutional reforms, including potentially a shift toward an integrated agency model.
Keywords: competition policy; Canada; policy reform
JEL Classification: K21, L40, L49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation