To modernize competition policy and enforcement in Canada, Fintechs Canada argues that policymakers need to make it easier for the Competition Bureau to prevent abuses of dominance, as well empower the Competition Bureau to better oversee the markets in which it’s supposed to be promoting competition.
Last year, François-Philippe Champagne, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, announced the launch of Canada’s review of the Competition Act, a piece of legislation that outlines Canada’s competition policy and enforcement regime. The overarching question, if the whole of the government’s review could be summarized into one, is this: is the Competition Act fit for purpose?
Along with its announcement, the government published a 125-page discussion paper, The Future of Competition Policy in Canada. A handful of themes emerged throughout the paper:
- The high bar competition authorities need to meet to intervene
- The extent of the Competition Bureau’s role
- The consistency of enforcement and in remedies
- The challenge of data and digital markets
The discussion paper hinted at a number policy changes the government is considering, including strengthening merger control, improving the legal tests for abuse of dominance, making it harder for competitors to anti-competitively collaborate, and empowering the Competition Bureau to collect information about the markets it oversees, as well as intervene more easily in the case of deceptive marketing.
In its submission, Fintechs Canada proposes that the government simplify the test for abuses of dominance and weaken the exculpatory power of the “business justifications” defence. Fintechs Canada also proposes that the Competition Bureau be empowered with formal market study powers and the ability to intervene with remedies and voluntary undertakings by market participants.
For the full submission, click here.