Mark Katz, Jan 15, 2013
The year just ended witnessed a changing of the guard at Canada’s Competition Bureau, with Melanie Aitken resigning as Commissioner of Competition in September 2012. Ms. Aitken was replaced on an interim basis by John Pecman, a seasoned Bureau veteran with over 28 years of enforcement experience. It is expected that a permanent replacement for Ms. Aitken will be appointed within the year.
Ms. Aitken only served roughly three years of her five-year term. In that relatively short period of time, however, she engaged in a vigorous-and successful-campaign to raise the profile of competition law enforcement in Canada. Ms. Aitken accomplished this objective by bringing more cases than her recent predecessors and by doing so in areas that matter to Canadian consumers: retail gas, real estate, airlines, telecommunication services, etc.
Can more of the same be expected in 2013 under the Bureau’s new administration? All indications to date are that the answer to this question is “yes,” and that Mr. Pecman intends to follow the course set by Ms. Aitken, although with a few variations of his own.