Manufacturer of a specialized residential construction product

In the spring of 2005, the Bureau received a complaint from a manufacturer of specialized residential construction products alleging that a group of competing manufacturers was controlling a standard-setting organization's committee. The standard in question provides prescriptive requirements as opposed to performance criteria. The approval of the standard-setting organization is required by provincial governments before the product in question may be sold commercially. As a result, the complainant is alleging that his firm is being prevented from introducing his innovative technology into the Canadian market.

In this case, the Bureau was concerned about possible manipulation of the standard-setting process by certain competitors on the standard committee and the use of standards to block newcomers and innovation.

Following discussions with the Bureau, the standard-setting organization created a task force mandated to develop a test protocol in order to carry out a performance comparison between the pre-existing products and the innovative design. Furthermore, as part of the Bureau's outreach program, a presentation was made to the standard-setting organization in February 2006 in order to generate dialogue and awareness with respect to the importance of competition and the potential anti‑competitive pitfalls of standard setting. The Bureau's examination of this matter is continuing.

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