The International Affairs Directorate coordinates the Bureau’s participation in a number of multilateral organizations that foster greater cooperation among competition agencies and convergence in competition law and policy. These activities are critical to law enforcement as cooperation and convergence lead to improved enforcement outcomes.
Among others, the Bureau is active in the following organizations:
The International Competition Network
The Bureau is a founding member of the International Competition Network (ICN), sits on its Steering Group and also acts as the ICN Secretariat. The Bureau is currently the Co-Chair of the ICN's Agency Effectiveness Working Group, a member of the ICN's Mergers Working Group and the ICN-OECD Liaison.
The ICN advocates the adoption of superior standards and procedures in competition policy around the world, formulates proposals for procedural and substantive convergence, and seeks to facilitate effective international cooperation for the benefit of member agencies, consumers and economies worldwide. Competition agencies exchange enforcement experiences through the ICN and develop practical guidance and best practices to increase cooperation and convergence.
The ICN has grown to include over 130 members from all regions of the globe. The ICN also encourages the participation of non-governmental advisors (NGAs) in all aspects of its work. Information on how to get involved in the ICN as an NGA can be found on the Bureau’s international resources page.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
The Bureau participates regularly in meetings of both the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) Competition Committee and the Committee on Consumer Policy.
The Bureau is a member of the OECD Competition Committee’s Executive Group, which guides the work of the Committee, and also acts as the liaison between the Competition Committee and the ICN.
The OECD Competition Committee promotes the regular exchange of views and analysis on competition policy issues through best practice roundtables. The Committee develops guidance and recommendations for competition authorities and Member governments to achieve greater convergence towards recognised best practices and to strengthen cooperation and coordination in competition law enforcement. The Bureau regularly participates in OECD Competition Committee meetings and makes submissions to the Committee’s best practice roundtables.
The Bureau also participates, along with Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs, in the OECD Committee on Consumer Policy. The Committee on Consumer Policy examines questions relating to domestic and international consumer law and policy, and contributes to the further development and strengthening of cooperation between Member countries in policy development and law enforcement.
The International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network
The Bureau is a past Secretariat of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), and a current member of its advisory body.
ICPEN is comprised of consumer protection authorities from over 50 countries. Its aim is to protect consumers’ economic interests around the world, share information about cross-border commercial activities that may affect consumer welfare, and encourage global cooperation among law enforcement agencies.
London Action Plan
The London Action Plan (LAP) was founded in 2004 by 27 member countries to promote international cooperation in spam enforcement. Members include regulators, law enforcement and industry participants. The Competition Bureau is a member of LAP, along with Industry Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
The International Affairs Directorate of the Competition Bureau, in partnership with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and Global Affairs Canada, plays a key role in the negotiation and implementation of competition provisions in international trade agreements (FTAs) and Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPAs).
The Competition Bureau advocates for competition considerations in Canada’s agreements to ensure that the benefits of trade liberalization are not offset by anticompetitive business conduct and to provide opportunities for Canadian participation in world markets.
A full list of Canada’s trade agreements, FIPAs and ongoing negotiations can be found on the website of Global Affairs Canada.