Competition in the Digital Economy


Issue at a Glance

It is important for marketers to operate in a healthy digital economy with diverse players, so organizations have a range of options through which to advertise, making it easier to connect consumers to the products and services they want and ensuring choice.

Canada’s 2019 Digital Charter includes the principle: to: “ensure fair competition in the online marketplace to facilitate the growth of Canadian businesses and affirm Canada's leadership on digital and data innovation, while protecting Canadian consumers from market abuses.”

The impact of big data on competition law has attracted significant attention lately. Work began in 2017, when the Competition Bureau consulted on the topic, releasing a final report that identified the need to adapt its tools and methods to this evolving area.

Given Canada’s digital transformation in recent years, it is anticipated that at some point, the government may propose changes to the Competition Act (last updated significantly in 2009). In the meantime, government is proposing other initiatives to address aspects of internet and platform regulation, as outlined below.

CMA Articles

Competition Bureau Releases its Annual Plan
Competition Bureau outlines strategic vision to 2024



Internet and Platform Regulation

The newly re-elected Liberal government has indicated its intent to proceed – in its first 100 days - with a new bill that would require digital platforms that generate revenues from the publication of news content to share a portion of their revenues with Canadian news outlets. They are also expected to pick up on two bills that didn’t pass before the election:

  • Bill-C-36 (originally introduced in June 2021) is intended to tackle online harms, and was accompanied by a whitepaper with plans to regulate hateful content on the major platforms. For updates, see the CMA’s Brand Safety webpage.
  • Bill C-10 (originally introduced in November 2020) intends to amend the Broadcasting Act to bring streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime under some of the rules that apply to traditional broadcasters.

 

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