Council Reports

May 16, 2019 – At their recent meeting, members of the C.D. Howe Institute Competition Policy Council concluded Canada’s competition policy toolkit is sufficient to address new forms of market power that may arise in the digital economy.  Governments worldwide are wrestling with public concerns about the perceived power and influence of “Big Tech” companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon.  Such players provide digital platforms for searching, shopping and social media and collect extensive datasets about users’ online activities.  In the face of populist appeals for a revamp of antitrust rules and pressure to directly regulate digital platforms, the consensus of the Council was that Canada’s competition law continues to...

The C.D. Howe Institute’s Competition Policy Council support measures to reinvigorate competition enforcement in Canada and safeguard the Commissioner of Competition’s ability to act as an effective advocate for competition.  This includes ensuring that the Competition Bureau is adequately resourced to do its job effectively.  At their most recent meeting, a majority of Council members also supported maintaining the Bureau as part of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), where the Bureau can help influence the direction of Canada’s industrial policy and encourage reliance on competitive market forces over direct economic regulation. In a new communique titled: “Is Canada’s Competition Watchdog on a Leash?”...

Report of the C.D. Howe Institute Competition Policy Council   There’s a major job vacancy coming soon in Ottawa: The Commissioner of Competition. The current Commissioner, John Pecman, will be retiring from his role as the head of the Competition Bureau this spring. This is a unique opportunity for the federal government to reflect on the performance of the Competition Bureau and articulate a set of priorities for the new Commissioner.   There should be two long-term priorities for the new Commissioner of Competition, according to the majority view of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Competition Policy Council, which held its fifteenth meeting on April 24, 2018. The first priority is to improve the timeliness and...