The Competition Bureau's month in review — 2017

CB in Brief is an electronic publication, distributed regularly to media and stakeholders to provide a snapshot of recent news and developments.

November — 2017

Competition Bureau releases final Guidance on Requests for Information from Private Parties in Proceedings

Following a period of public consultation, the Competition Bureau published the final version of its guidance on Information Requests from Private Parties in Proceedings for Recovery of Loss or Damages. The document sets out the Bureau's general approach to requests for access to confidential information in its possession from persons involved in private law suits brought under section 36 of the Competition Act. This guidance supplements information published in the Bureau's bulletin on Communication of Confidential Information under the Competition Act.

The Bureau carefully reviewed the feedback from the public and stakeholders and made adjustments to the final guidelines. The updates clarify the Bureau's position on responding to requests for information from private parties in proceedings and address issues such as the possibility of the Bureau intervening in civil actions when it receives requests for documents. Other modifications note that the information provider may wish to intervene once the Bureau notifies them of a request.

The Bureau would like to thank all parties who took the time to provide feedback.

Competition Bureau promotes best practices in combating cartels internationally

Left to right – Stephan Luciw (Competition Bureau), Sabine Zigelski (OECD), Beatrix Krauskopf (Austria), Daumantas Grikinis (Lithuania), David Kuritar (Hungary)

The Competition Bureau participated in the Seminar on Best Practices in Cartel Procedures in Budapest, Hungary from October 17-19, 2017. The event was organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) Regional Centre for Competition in Budapest.

The international capacity building seminar brought together representatives of competition authorities from Eastern Europe, Canada, and the OECD to share their experiences and best practices in combating cartels.

The participants discussed various investigative procedures, including the preparation and execution of dawn raids, the handling of evidence, forensic IT techniques, and teamwork during complex cartel case investigations. Stephan Luciw, Assistant Deputy Commissioner at the Competition Bureau, led a workshop on identifying different types of evidence, as well as a workshop on the management of major cases.

The OECD-GVH Regional Centre for Competition in Budapest regularly organizes capacity building seminars to help Eastern European countries develop and apply competition law in accordance with international best practices. The Competition Bureau's active participation in these efforts helps further this goal, which increases predictability for international businesses and contributes to the confidence and prosperity of Canadian companies operating abroad.

The Competition Bureau's international efforts are an essential part of its work to protect competition and innovation in the marketplace, combat anti-competitive activities, and promote sound policies and practices.

September — 2017

Competition Bureau promotes sound economic analysis in international enforcement

The Competition Bureau took part in the Antitrust Regional Seminar on Economic Analysis in Competition Enforcement in Singapore from September 26-27.

The capacity building seminars are hosted periodically by the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission to support the development of competition policy and enforcement in the Asia-Pacific region. The seminar in Singapore was attended by several members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Alan Gunderson, acting Associate Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau’s Economic Analysis Directorate, led a how-to session on merger control analysis, which presented the methodologies that competition authorities primarily use for assessing the impact of mergers. He also delivered a presentation on the Bureau’s approach to economic analysis in abuse of dominance cases.

Promoting the use of a common set of normative economic principles and tools by global competition agencies increases predictability for international businesses and contributes to the confidence and prosperity of Canadian companies operating abroad.

As part of its ongoing capacity building program, the Bureau shares its experiences with its counterparts in other jurisdictions in order to promote global convergence in competition laws and policies.

August — 2017

Competition Bureau promotes due process in global competition enforcement

The Competition Bureau shared its experiences and best practices at the International Competition Network's (ICN) capacity building workshop on due process in Singapore on August 18, 2017.

The workshop brought together officials from competition authorities around the world to promote and facilitate due process in global competition law enforcement. Due process provides predictability and transparency for the international business community and promotes stable and efficient global markets.

The Bureau's Senior Deputy Commissioner Jeanne Pratt facilitated a how-to session on integrating due process into agency decision-making, and moderated a panel that highlighted advice from both senior competition law officials and non-governmental advisors.

The Competition Bureau takes a leadership role in the ICN, including as a member of the ICN Steering Group, as co-chair of the ICN's Agency Effectiveness Working Group, and as the ICN Secretariat. As part of its ongoing capacity building program, the Bureau shares its experiences with its counterparts in other jurisdictions in order to develop and promote the convergence of competition laws and policies. These efforts help the Bureau build strong international relationships and improve its ability to enforce the law in an increasingly global marketplace. Canadian businesses operating internationally also benefit because they are able to compete on a level playing field with businesses in other jurisdictions.

July — 2017

First annual review of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines

Following up on its commitment to keep pace with innovative markets, the Competition Bureau concluded its first annual review of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines (IPEGs).

As part of its annual process, the Bureau consulted with stakeholders to obtain their perspectives on key developments over the past year related to intellectual property and competition law. The Bureau also took into consideration the current global economic environment as well as the rapid rate of technological change occurring in many industries.

The Bureau has concluded that no changes to the IPEGs are warranted at the present time. The Bureau will continue to conduct annual reviews of the IPEGs to ensure they reflect current enforcement experience, changing circumstances and decisions of the Competition Tribunal and the courts.

The IPEGs, published in March 2016, provide clarification on the Bureau's approach to conducting investigations of alleged anti-competitive activities that relate to intellectual property, making it easier for stakeholders to operate within the law.

June — 2017

International consumer protection website revamped

The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) relaunched today: www.icpen.org.

The revamped website provides easy access to tips and resources to help consumers avoid emerging scams and shop safely online. It acts as a collaborative space for dealing with borderless issues and reporting multi-jurisdictional complaints.

The new website is also a vital tool for consumer protection authorities in the detection, identification and response to illegal conduct affecting consumers. Through this website, enforcers, such as the Competition Bureau, can safely share intelligence on emerging misleading, deceptive or fraudulent commercial practices and develop appropriate enforcement responses, cooperating and pooling resources where appropriate.

With members from over 60 countries, ICPEN’s global reach allows network members to identify, target and respond to cross-border issues faced by consumers in the digital economy. The Bureau is an active member of the network and continually engages with international partners to combat deceptive marketing practices worldwide.

Take a look at the Bureau’s international efforts and its latest Deceptive Marketing Practices Digest to learn more about how the Bureau collaborates with international partners like ICPEN on cross-border enforcement initiatives, such as the Annual Internet Sweep.

For more information about the new ICPEN website, visit www.icpen.org.

May — 2017

International Competition Network’s 2017 Conference a great success!

On May 10‑12, representatives from competition authorities around the world, together with non‑governmental advisors from the legal and academic communities, gathered at the 16th Annual Conference of the International Competition Network (ICN), hosted by the Portuguese Competition Authority.

The annual conference was filled with in‑depth discussions to advance the global application of sound competition policies. Commissioner of Competition John Pecman moderated a Mergers Working Group panel on non‑price effects in merger reviews. Given the importance of this topic and a shared interest in advancing common approaches, Commissioner Pecman recommended that it be the focus of a future ICN Working Group project.

The Bureau’s delegation also took the opportunity to engage with competition authorities from around the world on developments in competition law and policy, including formal meetings with counterparts from Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Taiwan, the U.K. and the U.S. During the Bureau’s meeting with the Japan Fair Trade Commission, the two agencies signed a stronger Cooperation Arrangement to promote further collaboration, coordination and communication of information in relation to their enforcement activities. Prior to the conference, the Bureau participated in the Competition Policy Toward Online Markets roundtable organised May 9th by the Jevons Institute and Competition Policy International.

The ICN is a group of national and multinational competition authorities devoted to improving collaboration on competition law enforcement. The Competition Bureau takes a leadership role in the ICN, including as a member of the ICN Steering Group, as co‑chair of the ICN’s Agency Effectiveness Working Group, and as the ICN Secretariat.

Associated links

January — 2017

New entity created to acquire Iron Mountain assets in Canada

The Commissioner of Competition has approved Iron Mountain Incorporated’s sale of eight records management facilities to Summit Park LLC.

The sale follows a consent agreement registered in March 2016, in which Iron Mountain agreed to sell off eight records management facilities in six Canadian cities to resolve concerns related to its acquisition of Recall.

With the acquisition, Summit will sponsor the creation of Arkive, a new entrant in the records management industry.

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