5 Small Things to Keep in Mind for August 19, 2022
Welcome to 5 Small things to keep in mind, or How to make a big difference while thinking small. In this newsletter I share 5 things weekly about monopolies, competition policy, anti-trust, financialization that I've done, I've read, or that I've enjoyed.
This should be a small dose of content to keep you informed and thinking big.
1) CAMP Launch Event
If you missed it last week, here's the video of the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project launch event featuring Barry Lynn with Open Markets Institute, and Stacy Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self Reliance. Plus myself, Robin and Keldon.
2) Interview with Christine Van Geyn
Robin, Keldon and myself did an interview with Christine Van Geyn on her show Canadian Justice about the Monopoly problem in Canada and our goals at CAMP.
3) How can the Provinces help?
Vass Bednar and Denise Hearn wrote an outstanding paper, wondering if the Province of Ontario can be more involved in Competition Policy. I love this concept - our regional economies are all so different and each have their strengths and challenges. Provinces have a better understanding of these issues.
4) Random thoughts on National News
I was thinking about Lisa LaFlamme and how horribly she has been treated by Bell Media. Then I thought about our National news networks/broadcasts. We have CTV, owned by Bell Media, the CBC, and Global News, owned by Corus Entertainment.
Who is Corus Entertainment?
They were formed in 1998 when Shaw Communications spun out its media properties and focused solely on telecommunications. The reason they did this? The CRTC didn't like telecommunication companies that were vertically integrated with media companies.
Corus Entertainment was a separate public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but a majority of the shares were still owned by Shaw Communications. Then in 2019, Shaw Communications sold their remaining shares in Corus Entertainiment. That was only 3 years ago.
This presents an interesting competition hypothetical. What does our news situation look like if Shaw doesn't sell their Corus Entertaiment Shares, and then Rogers buys Shaw? Our two largest telecomm companies would own two of our three National news broadcasts - the reamining news broadcast is our publically funded one.
Does this mean anything? I don't know, maybe? It just highlights the role publiclly funded companies can play in maintaining competition in markets. Perhaps we need to explore more publicly funded or owned companies in other markets?
5) New Zealand Government studies competition in building supplies
The Commerce Commission of New Zealand released their preliminary report on competition issues in the residential building supplies industry on August 4th.
Their results are interesting and worth reading.
But, the key point -
NEW ZEALAND DID A MARKET STUDY OF THE RESIDENTIAL BUILDING SUPLLY INDUSTRY!
Why can't we do it in Canada? We haven't given the Competition Bureau the authority to do market studies.
What can we do about it?
Give them the authority in the Competition Act review.