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A Comparative Analysis of EU and Canadian Competition Law: Lessons to be Learned for Regulatory Reform

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This essay conducts a comparative analysis between the Canadian and European Union competition law regimes to isolate key successes within each regime that could ultimately lead to effective regulatory reform in the other. To this effect, the paper conducts a robust historical and contextual analysis of both regimes to precisely pinpoint shortcomings that could ostensibly be resolved by adopting approaches found within the other regime.

An analysis of the underlying legislative frameworks, shortcomings, and strengths of both regimes demonstrates that the Canadian framework could benefit significantly from increased, proportionate, and more robust maximum penalties. Canada might also benefit from consistently and proactively reviewing its regulations on a recurring basis, similar to how Europe has championed the modernization of its competition framework to adjust for contemporary problems.

On the other hand, the EU could benefit from a more impartial and independent adjudicative branch in its enforcement regime, similar to the Competition Tribunal in Canada. Furthermore, Canada’s criminal penalties have been an important tool to fight against cartels. The adoption of similar criminal provisions in the EU would assist the Commission in strengthening its deterrent capabilities.