On February 11, 2020, the Canadian Competition Bureau (Bureau) released Competition in the digital age, its Strategic Vision plan for 2020-2024, which summarizes the Bureau’s objectives for the next four years.
BUREAU’S KEY MESSAGES
Active enforcement will be the Bureau’s main focus, targeted at sectors that the Bureau believes to be most important to Canadian consumers and aided by proactive intelligence gathering and modernized technology.
The Bureau will champion competition within the domestic policy and regulatory environments, engaging with policymakers and regulators at all levels of government.
ACTIVE ENFORCEMENT IS THE PRIORITY FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS
The Bureau will seek to take more timely, proactive action to address all types of anti-competitive conduct, particularly in consumer facing sectors. To do this, it will: (i) employ new digital tools, such as advanced analytics and algorithms, as well as enhanced intelligence gathering units; (ii) build additional technological expertise within the Bureau; and (iii) create a Digital Enforcement Office to provide specialized technological support for its enforcement work.
Businesses operating in Canada should similarly step up their vigilance to ensure they are prepared if the Bureau starts an investigation that affects their business. Advance consideration of potential competition law issues may avoid scrutiny and allow for a timely and comprehensive response to diffuse potential concerns.
BUREAU WILL CHAMPION COMPETITION BEFORE POLICYMAKERS AND REGULATORS
The Bureau will also provide advice to domestic policymakers and regulators on the competition issues it believes to be of strategic importance to the Canadian economy. It will do so through informal and formal advocacy, as well as market studies in areas where government policy impacts competition, with a view to being, and being seen to be, Canada’s competition champion and securing additional resources.
Businesses operating, or looking to operate, in Canada will need to anticipate the perspective the Bureau will likely bring to its interactions with various Canadian policymakers and regulators, and engage as appropriate with both the Bureau and the policymakers or regulators on issues of strategic importance.
If you have any questions regarding these developments, please do not hesitate to contact your usual Blakes contact or any member of the Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment group.
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