Jennifer Quaid on Canada’s competition laws

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, Jennifer Quaid returned to inform us further about Canada’s competition laws, how they work, and how they’re going to change. 

How did the Rogers-Shaw deal go through? 

“I think there was a lot of deference to what the CRTC does, and I do think there's confusion about how CRTC regulation works. And so if you have an assessment of what the regulatory environment is that isn't maybe quite the reflection of how things really go on, that might also affect how you assess the impact of combining the #1 and #4 biggest telecos in the country.” 

What are some of the proposed changes to The Competition Act? 

“We are currently in the second stage of competition reform. On the table are three changes. The first is to give the competition commissioner the ability to compel information when he's doing market studies. The second change is to repeal the efficiencies defence. The third is changing a provision that allows cooperation between competitors under certain conditions.” 

What would be your one message for people reforming Canada’s competition laws?

“I would say that they should stop and ask themselves: What matters most to Canadians? Competition laws are a tool intended to make Canadians better off. I think the missing thing is that vision. Where are we going? And what do we want from our competition policy? Then we can figure out the rest.”

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Listen to the full conversation here.