Canada's Commissioner of Competition, John
Pecman, spoke on October 6th, 2016 to the Canadian Bar
Association's Competition Law Fall Conference, addressing the
link between competition and innovation and providing updates on
the Fintech market study launched by the Competition Bureau earlier
Competition Drives Innovation
The Commissioner noted that new disruptive technologies
challenge not only traditional business but also regulators.
Governments and regulatory bodies across Canada are developing
strategies to support such innovation (see our
recent post on related initiatives by the OSC).
"Competitive intensity fosters innovation", noted the
Commissioner. He remarked that competition pushes business to
develop better products and services, production techniques and
business models and that the Competition Bureau promotes
"competitive intensity" through its efforts to increase
compliance with the law and by advocating for a
pro‑competitive approach to regulation.
The Fintech Market Study
The Bureau launched a
Fintech market study in May with the goal of better
understanding how it could support the growth of Fintech. Fintech
is widely expected to disrupt the financial sector and generate
benefits for both businesses and consumers. As part of the study,
the Bureau interviewed more than 50 industry stakeholders,
including more than 20 Fintech start‑ups.
In early 2017, the Bureau will invite a broad range of industry
stakeholders and federal and provincial regulators for a workshop.
The workshop will serve as a forum for discussion about the
regulatory challenges faced by Fintech and possible approaches that
could enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Canada's
financial services sector. The ultimate goal is to create
incentives to drive innovation for the benefit of consumers,
businesses and the Canadian economy (for a detailed review of the
interplay between regulation and Fintech innovation, please see the
report "FinTech in Canada: British Columbia
Edition" co-authored by the Digital Finance Institute
and McCarthy Tétrault). The Bureau expects to release its
report in late 2017 for public comment.
The Commissioner's remarks indicate the commitment of the
Competition Bureau to use its authority and jurisdiction to support
innovation in general, and Fintech innovation in particular. The
full text of the Commissioner's remarks is available here.
For more information about our firm's Fintech expertise,
please see ourFintech group's page.
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