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related: I want to learn more about the Investment Canada Act

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From Jennifer Bonder: I’d like to learn more about how the current Investment Canada Act handles competition and how its openness ranks relative to other countries.

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Emailed: "Commenting didn't work for me, but because some of Canada's reluctance to enforce anti-trust is due to the concept of Canadian Champions to beat foreign competition, how realistic was it that our main oligarchies (grocery, telecom, banking, etc) would actually face foreign competition? How competitive have they been globally? Is the policy entirely misguided, and therefore it's influence on anti-trust a big mistake?"

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Sep 7, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

Great query and comments ! I want to know those things too. Also: what are the metrics that are used to deem competition is inadequate? Market share? Price “stickiness” or inflation (deflation/stagnation in case of some platform workers)? Role in setting standards/laws? Do they differ in Canada from other nations?

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That's a great one, thank you! It would be fun to illustrate/translate how the Competition Act "thinks" through a checklist or quiz or something. Love the idea of benchmarking it to other jurisdictions, too.

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Sep 7, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

I realize I didn't specify what kind of market share: sales (revenues)? profits (attention: profit shifting)? both? something else? maybe sales as measured by volume if price fixing occurs in some jurisdictions but not others?

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Sep 12, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

LOVE THIS IDEA!

Unsurprisingly, I'd like to learn about the history of Competition Policy. Specifically the pre-1960's history, and focused on what the people wanted to see happen, not necessarily what we were able to do through laws and legislation.

Historically some of the goals for competition policy were to protect small businesses, small towns, workers, individuals and democracy from consolidated corporate power. Unlike the Americans, I don't think these goals were actually brought into our laws, legislation and enforcement.

Maybe if we remember what people historically wanted to see happen, we can decide if it is still relevant. Then we can try to enshrine them in our laws this time. Maybe?!

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+100 to digging into the history! thanks, Andrew!

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Sep 7, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

I'd like to see key indicators that show monopolies under-serving Canadians but also I'd be curious to see an estimate of their environmental impact vs the impact smaller players might have if the monopoly didn't exist in a given industry. (E.g. Is amazon 'better' overall than a ton of small uncoordinated retailers?)

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Very cool thought on the environmental angle and thanks for raising, Martin! And always good to review what anti-competitive behaviour looks like and how it can be harmful. Really appreciate you raising that.

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I would like to know more about how the CRTC is viewed as a regulator of comptetion. In the cultural sociology community they have a reputation for leaning in favour of corporate interests and very reluctant to enact regulations that they have the power to enforce, especially in the global media terrain online.

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That's a great one! Thanks for raising, Theo. I recently read, "Telecom Tensions: Internet Service Providers and Public Policy in Canada," and it's been helping me wrap my head around a lot of that. Here's a link in case you are curious (maybe you are already familiar): https://www.mqup.ca/telecom-tensions-products-9780228005896.php

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No, I'll check it out. I've been going over the submissions by various indigenous interest groups and artists to help shape the new Broadcasting and Telecommunications legislation (Bill C-10) to see which of the initial questions and ideas actually make it to the draft, and the role of the CRTC is a major concern.

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I'd be interested in what you find. Good luck!

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Sep 7, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

I'd like to better situate the enforcement actions that the Competition Bureau does take in the context of all of the activities that are conceivably within its mandate and how what does ("consumer protection"; blatantly criminal practices like bid-rigging) or doesn't get done is influenced by politics, funding, organizational structure, business/government relationships, etc.

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Love that, thank you! The consumer protection angle can get a bit blurry. I'd love to be able to discuss the consumer welfare standard and consumer protection and their distinctions.

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Oct 1, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

I love this idea and would sign up. In addition to the basics of how the Act(s) work, I'd want to know what (publicly available) data sets are out there that help us paint a picture of what's happening in the Canadian economy.

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Thank you! Great point on data - what's out there, and where are the data deficits?

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Sep 13, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

Great thread, and input for consideration thus far! I'd like to learn about the fundamental balance between strengthening a market vs. Opening a market (under western neo-liberalism ideals). Can only one be achieved at the expense of the other, or is there a preferred end state that supports both?

If competition policies are back-boned on the elimination of public barriers (tarrifs, regulatory and administrative burdens) how will such application and enforcement be coordinated by government, regulators, and corporations?

Finally, what level of preferential treatment is (or will be) provided to incumbents of monopolized sectors (I.e. health, financial services) once markets are opened to new-market entrants (I.e. fintech)? If innovation and competition lies on the outer rings of the circle, how much gravity (control) should core incumbents have over the application and enforcement of said competition policies?

Thanks, and best of luck 👍

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Sep 8, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

I wan to learn about how the law could be improved and what areas of the law are already "good" but lack resources or are not enforced.

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Love that, thank you Kaylie

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Sep 7, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

One writer here refers to medical software. FYI there are only 2 firms providing hospital ehealth systems one owns about 85% of the market there’s a monopoly for you

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doesn't it sort of make sense for there to be a dominant firm in that regard? Are they abusing that dominance?

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Sep 7, 2021Liked by Vass Bednar

Depends on what they’re doing with potential access to a treasure trove of health data. And they de facto have ability to influence practice in how hospital systems work link and grow. There is a literature on the issue.

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ok i will google it!

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How does healthcare system's EMR system fall within Canada's competition regime now that we have private entrants/telemedicine companies offering services to patients/consumers as health information custodian?

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This would be neat to think through, Dia - thanks for raising!

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