Bill C-352 “Lowering Prices for Canadians Act”

Avatar photo
| Published , updated February 9, 2024

Bill C-352 “Lowering Prices for Canadians Act” is a bill in the House of Commons of Canada introduced by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh which would update Canada’s Competition Act to increase penalties on companies for certain anti-competitive acts.

Changes to the Competition Act summary

  • Higher penalties for price-fixing and wage-fixing of up to 3x the value of the benefit derived from the conspiracy or if that amount cannot be reasonably determined, 10% of the persons annual worldwide gross revenues. This could have led to higher penalties in the case of the bread price-fixing scandal.
  • Excessive and unfair selling prices to the list of anti-competitive acts.
  • Making “efficiency gains” one of a number of factors considered by the Competition Tribunal when determining if a merger or agreement can be approved, instead of a single legal reason preventing a merger/agreement from being blocked by the Tribunal. This could stop mergers that drive-up prices and hurt consumers, such as the Rogers-Shaw merger.
  • Preventing mergers resulting in large market shares if the combined market share of 60% or more, and preventing mergers if the combined market share would be 30% to 60%, unless it is “likely to result in substantial procompetitive outcomes, including reductions in prices, increases in supply, reductions of anti-competitive acts, increases in quality of goods or services, increases in wages and increases in consumer choice and consumer protection.”
  • Extended the review period for mergers from 1 to 3 years.
  • Increases Competition Bureau power to conduct inquiries into companies when a market study and reports on market conditions would provide insight into factors that are relevant to competition, not just when the Competition Bureau believes a company has broken the law.
  • Considering how a merger would affect the real value of exports, and substitution of domestic products for imported products when considering gains in efficiency.
  • Other changes

Status

A motion to read the Bill a second time and refer it to the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology was passed on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

Leave a comment

All comments are reviewed prior to appearing on the site.

Rules:

  • Remember the human. No harassment, bullying, and threats of violence.
  • Be respectful. Provide constructive feedback on specific policies and actions.
  • Stay on topic. Relevance to the subject of the post or to the previous comment.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Do you follow municipal politics in your area?

Join us in our Discord server!