Competition Bureau gets failing grade

Canada’s competition watchdog received a failing grade yesterday in an international survey – the first of its kind – that ranked it near the bottom of the list with Belgium, Greece and Argentina.

The Globe and Mail
April 11, 2000

Competition Bureau gets failing grade
Global review ranks Canada’s regulatory body near bottom of list comprising 25 countries
Eric Reguly

Canada’s competition watchdog received a failing grade yesterday in an international survey – the first of its kind – that ranked it near the bottom of the list with Belgium, Greece and Argentina.

The 25-country Rating the Regulators survey done by the Global Competition Review gave the Competition Bureau a lowly two stars out of five.

Only the competition authorities in Portugal and Japan rated lower. Germany ranked highest, while the United States had a respectable showing with four stars.

In his report, James Kanter of the Global Competition Review said a two-star rating indicates “a pattern of dissatisfaction” across the six areas that respondents, comprising corporations and their legal advisers, were asked to grade. The categories ranged from speed of merger case handling to independence from political influence. Regulators doing a “merely adequate job” earned no more than three stars.

The survey gave the Completion Bureau, which is headed by Konrad von Finckenstein, relatively high marks for technical expertise and procedure but low marks for transparency, leadership and case handling. Specifically, it said that Ottawa’s intervention in the bank and airline merger cases “has somewhat tarnished the authority’s reputation for independence.”

Robert Morin, a Competition Bureau deputy commissioner, said: “We think the survey is wrong. I don’t know how they came up with the ratings. We’re proud of our fairness and transparency here.”

The report can be read at: www.global-competition.com.


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