AI and Competition Law
in Florian Martin-Bariteau & Teresa Scassa, eds., Artificial Intelligence and the Law in Canada (Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2021)
23 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2020 Last revised: 7 Mar 2022
Date Written: February 1, 2021
This chapter examines what the rise in use of artificial intelligence (AI) may mean for Canadian competition law. Using the recent Consent Agreement entered into between Facebook and the Commissioner of Competition as a foil, the chapter explores the limits of current rules to respond to the kinds of anticompetitive effects that may plausibly flow from commercial uses of artificial intelligence, particularly by large firms with the power and resources to collect, consolidate, and control the most valuable resource in today’s digital world—information. It is important to consider how these changes will play out within the specific ambit of the Competition Act and Canadian competition policy, as these are informed by the nature of the Canadian economy structurally, as well as Canada’s place in the world economic order as a small trade-dependant nation sitting in geographical proximity to a powerful economic neighbour. While the nature of AI and the speed with which it continues to evolve makes it hard to know exactly how business practices which make use of AI will influence competition analysis and enforcement activity, this chapter assessment indicates there are gaps to be filled as Canada’s competition policy is adapted to the realities of the digital age.
Keywords: AI, competition, canada, facebook, privacy
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