When Should We Look Out for the Little Guy? An Examination of the Inconsistencies in Antitrust Enforcement of Monopsony Power in Canada and the United States
Canadian Competition Law Review, VOL. 35, NO. 2, 32-53
15 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2023 Last revised: 14 Jul 2023
Date Written: December 15, 2022
Enforcement of competition/antitrust laws regarding the exercise of market power in respect of upstream markets (monopsony/oligopsony power) has been inconsistent in both Canada and the United States. This paper provides an overview of the competition/antitrust laws in Canada and the United States and how they have addressed (or not addressed) monopsony power both in legislation and in case law, and seeks to identify the interests that are protected by various enforcement rationales. An apparent pattern is that large suppliers seem not to be afforded the same degree of protection against monopsony as small suppliers—a pattern that is at odds with monopoly enforcement in Canada and the United States. However, this pattern is not consistently articulated or applied. The authors call for clarification by law-makers and enforcers as to what interests they are seeking to protect from the exercise of monopsony power, and when they will intervene to do so.
Keywords: antitrust, competition law, monopsony, labor
JEL Classification: K21, K31, L12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation