Canada Government introduces legislation to tackle geographic price discrimination: The unexplained and often significant gap between Canadian and U.S. prices for the same products is a frustrating and all-too-familiar reality for any Canadian who has ever shopped online or travelled to the United States.
Today, Industry Minister James Moore announced new legislation to help ensure Canadians are not charged higher prices than Americans simply because of where they live.
The Price Transparency Act will help tackle the practice of geographic price discrimination, one of the key contributors to the Canada–U.S. price gap. Today’s announcement provides the Commissioner of Competition with the tools necessary to investigate alleged cases of price discrimination and to publicly report situations where consumers are unfairly targeted with higher prices. The Commissioner will be authorized to seek court orders to compel the production of evidence to expose discriminatory pricing practices that are not justified by higher costs in Canada and to publicly report to consumers on the findings.
- Studies have shown that the prices of goods in Canada are, on average, 10- to 25-percent higher than they are in the United States.
- In 2013 the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance found that country pricing by manufacturers is one of the key causes of the Canada–U.S. price gap.
- A recent study published by the American Economic Review, which reviewed 4,000 separate products, in both Canada and the United States, concluded that distributors or wholesalers are engaging in country pricing strategies.