Op-Eds

In a Post op-ed earlier this spring, “Why Canada’s toothless Competition Bureau can’t go after Big Tech,” Vass Bednar and Robin Shaban argued that Canada’s competition authorities are unable to “protect consumers from the dominance of Big Tech firms like Google and Facebook.” They advocated turning the Competition Bureau, a law enforcement agency, into an agency that investigates, and may even impose penalties or remedial action for conduct that has the potential to be anti-competitive. And they proposed giving the Bureau the power to seize data or compel production of business documentation for “market studies” from entities that are not even being formally investigated. As a 2017 report from the C.D. Howe...
Controversial government efforts forcing streaming companies to pay into official Canadian culture funds will only gain public acceptance if the legislative club currently being used is replaced with a scalpel. The main aim of Bill C-10, an Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act, was originally to regulate online streaming companies such as Netflix and to level the playing field between traditional broadcasters and those services. Fair enough, but using the Broadcasting Act and granting the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) sweeping powers over the internet is at best an awkward solution, and at worst an unworkable and damaging one. Both the Act and the CRTC were designed to regulate the...
Même si le fardeau des impôts payés par les entreprises est ultimement porté par des personnes – actionnaires, employés et consommateurs –, le sens commun exige que les compagnies fassent leur part et on s’insurge lorsque les plus grandes profitent des paradis fiscaux pour se défiler. L’administration Biden a ravivé l’espoir d’un accord international sur un taux d’imposition minimal et sur la capacité des pays à taxer les ventes faites à distance par les FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sur leur territoire national. Selon l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE), les stratégies fiscales qui exploitent les différentes règles des pays pour faire disparaître des profits ou les déplacer dans des...
Today the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology begins to dig into the telecoms matter of the day. It would be useful for them to know that cellular service prices have fallen 25 percent over the past five years, a decline that aligns with Ottawa’s promised wireless rate cut. This is important and surprising news for both Canadian consumers and the government. The Prime Minister’s 2019 Mandate Letter to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry provided express political direction to reducing the average cost of cellphone services and expand mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) in the market. It directed the minister to: “Use all available instruments … to reduce the average cost of cellular phone bills in...
Policy decisions coming soon from the CRTC, the federal telecommunications regulator, are going to shape major investment decisions with critical impacts on our economy. Canadian governments need to get the right balance between investment and sustainable competition. Failure to do so will jeopardize efforts to get Canadian communities digitally connected and hence our ability as a nation to participate in an increasingly digital world economy. The next generation of technology investment — “5G” — is critical to the economy’s future. For example, it will be key to commercializing innovations in precision agriculture. It will enable rural economic development, such as automated hauling at mine sites, and underpin further developments in...