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Canada: Price gap plans change the game for competition policy

 |  February 26, 2014

Canada is reportedly considering using the nation’s Competition Act to address the current consumer price gap between Canada and the US, a move reports say signals a major change in how governments may use competition policy.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty declared closing the price gap as one of his top priorities in the announcement of his 2014 budget earlier this month. Proposed plans would ban companies from using their “market power to charge higher prices in Canada that are not reflective of legitimate higher costs,” legislation that would be enforceable by the Commissioner of Competition, say reports.

Some experts say that the legislation, if passed, would broaden powers of the Competition Act over price regulation; Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP lawyer Adam Fanaki said that the proposed rules would “create considerable uncertainty and risk for multinational suppliers or retailers that sell products in Canada.”

Earlier legislation took aim at price discrimination to tackle price disparities within the nations, say reports, but has since been removed.

Full Content: Financial Post

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