The Competition Bureau's month in review — 2019

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

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April — 2019

Investigation of gas prices in Northwestern Ontario

Investigation of gas prices in Northwestern Ontario

As part of an investigation of gasoline pricing practices in Northwestern Ontario, Competition Bureau officers visited a total of 50 gas stations in the Ontario communities of Thunder Bay, Fort Frances, Dryden and Kenora.

Competition Bureau concludes investigation of gas prices in Northwestern Ontario

The Competition Bureau has concluded an investigation of gasoline pricing practices in Northwestern Ontario. The Bureau did not find evidence that an offence under the Competition Act has occurred.

As part of an investigation that began in December 2018, Bureau officers conducted field interviews at a total of 50 gas stations in the communities of Thunder Bay, Fort Frances, Dryden and Kenora. The Bureau also collected and analysed pricing data from various sources, and examined regional market characteristics such as wholesale gasoline supply and distribution. Throughout this investigation, the Bureau did not uncover evidence of anticompetitive agreements among competitors in the wholesale or retail gasoline markets. 

Should the Bureau become aware of evidence of anticompetitive activity at any time in the future, it will not hesitate to take action.

Contact us to report anticompetitive activity

Anyone with information about price-fixing or other anticompetitive activity can contact the Competition Bureau by calling 1-800-348-5358 or by submitting a complaint online. Keep in mind that high or identical prices by themselves are not evidence of illegal activity. There needs to be hard evidence of an illegal agreement between competitors.

Whistleblowing Initiative

If you believe the company you work for has an illegal agreement with its competitors, contact us and we will keep your identity secret. Whistleblowers are also protected by law. It is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you, or to threaten to do so, if you provide the Competition Bureau with information.

Those involved in illegal agreements who come forward with information and cooperate with our investigation may qualify for immunity or lenient treatment under our Immunity and Leniency Programs.

March — 2019

(Left to right) Jonah Brook, law student at the University of British Columbia; Victoria Wicks, law student at the University of British Columbia; Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition; Dylan Williams, law student at the University of British Columbia; Brian Facey, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP; Hannah Thomson, law student at the University of British Columbia.

Bureau hosts first Canadian Competition Law Moot

Left to right:

  • Jonah Brook, law student at the University of British Columbia;
  • Victoria Wicks, law student at the University of British Columbia;
  • Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition;
  • Dylan Williams, law student at the University of British Columbia;
  • Brian Facey, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP;
  • Hannah Thomson, law student at the University of British Columbia.

Bureau hosts first Canadian Competition Law Moot

The Competition Bureau, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Competition Tribunal joined forces to organize the first Canadian Competition Law Moot on March 15 and 16, 2019.

The event assembled 21 budding lawyers from five Canadian law faculties: the University of Ottawa, Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, Queen's University, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Osgoode Hall Law School of York University.

These law students tackled current and complex issues during a fictional competition law case regarding a merger challenge. This kind of exercise allows students to sharpen their legal skills while networking with leading specialists and obtaining feedback from real judges, including an Alberta Court of Appeal justice, the Chairperson of the Competition Tribunal, the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada and a former Supreme Court of Canada justice, the Honourable Marshall Rothstein.

The Bureau would like to congratulate all law faculties, coaches, mentors and students for participating and making this first edition a great success. Special congratulations to Dylan Williams, Jonah Brook, Hannah Thomson and Victoria Wicks from the Peter A. Allard School of Law for winning the prize of Best Faculty, and to François Tougas and McMillan LLP for coaching and mentoring the team and making it possible for them to attend the moot.


(Left to right) Elanor M. Fox, New York University School of Law, and Leila Wright, Assistant Deputy Commissioner at the Competition Bureau.

Big data paper recognized at the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards

Picture courtesy of Concurrences.

Left to right:

  • Elanor M. Fox, New York University School of Law;
  • Leila Wright, Assistant Deputy Commissioner at the Competition Bureau.

Big data paper recognized at the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards

On March 26, 2019, the Competition Bureau's landmark report Big data and Innovation: key themes for competition policy in Canada won a 2019 Antitrust Writing Award in the “Soft Laws” category. Associate Deputy Commissioner Leila Wright accepted the award in Washington, D.C.

Antitrust Writing awards are presented by the Institute of Competition Law, the publisher of Concurrences. The “Soft Laws” awards acknowledge the most innovative non-enforcement tools used by competition agencies, such as guidelines, market studies and white papers.

The Bureau is committed to keeping pace with new issues in the rapidly developing digital economy. The Big data and Innovation report examines these issues in the context of enforcement and analysis related to mergers, monopolistic practices, cartels and deceptive marketing practices.

This is the third consecutive Antitrust Writing Award won by the Bureau. In 2017, the Bureau's Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines were recognized as Most Innovative Soft Law (intellectual property section). In 2018, the Bureau's white paper on Big Data was recognized as a winner in the “Soft Laws” category.

Take a look at the winners of the other categories and view some of the photos taken during this event.

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