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The Competition Bureau (French: Bureau de la concurrence) as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.
The basic operating assumption of the Competition Bureau is that competition is good for both business and consumers.
Under the Competition Act, the Commissioner can launch inquiries, challenge civil and merger matters before the Competition Tribunal, make recommendations on criminal matters to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, and intervene as a competition advocate before federal and provincial bodies.
The Compliance and Operations Branch oversees the Bureau’s electronic evidence and conversion unit. It manages the Bureau’s Information Centre (1-800-line), as well as Bureau-wide planning, resource management, administration and informatics activities. The Branch also ensures that employees and managers have the necessary tools to conduct their work.
The Criminal Matters Branch is responsible for detecting, investigating, and deterring hard core cartels, including conspiracies, agreements or arrangements among competitors and potential competitors to fix prices, allocate markets or restrict supply, and bid-rigging. The Branch also actively reaches out to stakeholders engaged in procurement to enable them to detect and deter bid-rigging and other cartel activities.
The Fair Business Practices Branch administers and enforces the provisions of the Competition Act on false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices. The Branch also enforces the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (except as it relates to food), the Precious Metals Marking Act and the Textile Labelling Act.
The Competition Bureau Legal Services of the Department of Justice is responsible for providing legal services to the Commissioner and for representing the Commissioner on all matters other than those for which the Public Prosecution Service of Canada is responsible.
The Competition Law Section of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada is responsible for initiating and conducting criminal prosecutions on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada and for advising the Bureau on criminal investigations.
Legislative and International Affairs Branch
The Legislative and International Affairs Branch advances fair and efficient competition principles by providing input through legislative, regulatory and policy development processes. Through the negotiation of trade and cooperation instruments, and active leadership in international competition fora, the Branch fosters strong relationships with key partners, advances and reinforces the Bureau’s enforcement priorities, and co-ordinates international efforts to promote competitive markets and effective competition law enforcement.
The Public Affairs Branch is responsible for the Bureau’s communications. It ensures that Canadian consumers, businesses, parliamentarians and the international community are aware of the Bureau’s contributions to competition in the marketplace and to the growth of the Canadian economy.