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Canada: Tech firm sues Competition Bureau members after bid-rigging acquittal

 |  June 6, 2017

Ottawa technology firm TPG Technology Consulting is suing five current and former members of the Competition Bureau after they were acquitted in a criminal bid-rigging case, citing negligence on the part of the commissioners.

“This is to vindicate the rights of several people who were faced with the force of the government,” says Charles Gibson, partner with Vincent Dagenais Gibson LLP, who is representing TPG and other plaintiffs from the bid-rigging case in their suit against the commissioners. “My clients spent over $3 million in defence of this matter, and it’s something that could have been dealt with at the outset. It’s about the power of the state and the misuse of that power.”

The case involved an IT procurement bid for the federal government from 2005, which the Competition Bureau investigated. It laid charges against TPG, two of its executives and a few other companies and individuals who worked for those companies. The charge was bid rigging under the Competition Act, as well as conspiracy charges under the Criminal Code.

The criminal bid-rigging case was one of the largest and most complex of its kind in Ontario, and it featured more than a million pages of documentation. It also required a courtroom that was specially wired to handle the various computer systems to manage the volume.

Gibson says that, in the criminal process, peace officers and other investigators have a large discretion, which should be exercised in a professional matter.

The statement of claim in the suit alleges that the Competition Bureau commissioners did not meet the necessary level of professionalism required in the case.

Full Content: Global Competition Review

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