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Who Gets In? Class Actions and Indirect Purchasers in Competition Law

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October 30, 2013

Report of the C.D. Howe Institute Competition Policy Council

The Supreme Court will rule on Thursday, October 31, in landmark Competition Act decisions.  The key question before the Court is, when anticompetitive cartel behaviour is alleged in class action proceedings, should indirect purchasers, such as retailers and end consumers, have standing to sue for damages?  Given the likelihood that awards to individual class members might be very small, or zero, even should a suit succeed, it appears that deterrence, not compensation, should be the aim of law and policy. This is the consensus view of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Competition Policy Council, which held its sixth meeting on October 24, 2013.

The Competition Policy Council comprises top-ranked academics and practitioners active in the field of competition policy. The Council, chaired by Finn Poschmann, Vice President, Research at the C.D. Howe Institute, provides analysis of emerging competition policy issues. Professor Edward Iacobucci, Osler Chair in Business Law at the University of Toronto and Competition Policy Scholar at the Institute, advises the program, along with Benjamin Dachis, Senior Policy Analyst. The Council, whose members participate in their personal capacities, convenes a neutral forum to test competing visions and to share views on competition policy with practitioners, policymakers and the public.

 

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