Osgoode Hall Law Journal

Document Type



The object of this paper is twofold: to determine the extent to which enforcement of the Combines Investigation Act from 1970-1981 was guided by the goal of maximizing economic efficiency; and to ascertain the roles - facilitating or frustrating - played by the government and the Bureau of Competition Policy. The former is accomplished by correlating Bureau enforcement activity with estimates of allocative inefficiency. The latter is accomplished by treating the Bureau as a utility maximizer subject to the constraints imposed by the legislation and the structures set up to administer and adjudicate the statute. Our conclusions are that: enforcement activity is not guided by efficiency considerations; and the chief reason is the government constraints, particularly the wording of the legislation and its implicit support of the economic analysis of the courts.