Competition Bureau's Reviewable Practice Branch participated
in its first annual roundtable with members of the bar. The Branch
wanted to provide information on its current initiatives and
The Branch enforces the reviewable practices provisions of the
Competition Act, the principal aspects of which being the
new decriminalized price maintenance provision, the abuse of
dominance provisions, the new civil provision dealing with
agreements between competitors, the refusal to deal provision, and
as well the provisions with respect to tied selling, exclusive
dealing and market restriction.
The Branch, like the Competition Bureau as a whole, is primarily
a law enforcement agency, and therefore its actions tend to be
driven by external events and complaints brought to its attention.
In that regard, it receives approximately 900 annual complaints
which result, on average, in approximately 15 serious
investigations per year. In addition to complaints, the Branch
works to understand relevant developments and to proactively look
for issues which may be of particular importance to ensuring a
competitive economy. In that regard the Branch has particular
interest in issues related to pharmaceuticals and in the digital
economy more broadly.
Within the pharmaceutical area, two issues in particular which
have taken the Branch's attention are pay for delay (which is
particularly timely given developments out of the U.S. Supreme
Court), and product switching/product copying. These are both areas
of ongoing effort and investigation. In particular, as has been
publicly disclosed in court proceedings, the Bureau now has an
ongoing investigation into product switching related to Alcon's
Panatol and Pantaday products. The Branch also anticipates hosting
a roundtable workshop on pharmaceutical issues in the Fall of 2013,
the details of which will become available in the coming
By way of its work product, other than enforcement actions, the
Branch is working on a series of Frequently Asked Questions to
supplement its 2012, slimmed down, Abuse of Dominance
Enforcement Guidelines. It is also working on Guidelines
outlining its approach to the new decriminalized price maintenance
provisions, which were the basis of its proceeding in the
Competition Tribunal challenge to the no surcharge and honour all
cards rules of Visa and MasterCard. Both the FAQs and the
Guidelines will be released in draft, for comment by interested
Originally published by Monopoly Matter, Volume 11, No. 1 Fall
The foregoing provides only an overview. Readers are
cautioned against making any decisions based on this material
alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted.
The Commissioner of Competition addressed innovation, enforcement and policy initiatives at the Competition Bureau in his keynote speech, "Strengthening Competition: Innovation, Collaboration and Transparency."
Used car listing website operator CarGurus Inc.'s attempt to force rival Trader Corporation to supply it with vehicle listing data has encountered a dead end as the Competition Tribunal denied it leave to commence a private application under several provisions of the Competition Act.
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