How Much Price Competition

How Much Price Competition

Copyright Date: 1970
Pages: 232
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    How Much Price Competition
    Book Description:

    Milton Moore, who calls this inquiry into an effective Canadian competition policy “a polite polemic,” challenges the assumptions upon which combines legislation is based and questions the manner in which free enterprise operates in Canada. He addresses himself, not to the academic economist, but to the general public. Because realism and relevance inform his thinking, businessmen will recognize the world of business he describes as the one they inhabit. The author’s basic premise is that the consumer is entitled to commodities and services at a price equal to the lowest attainable cost. But as industry is now organized, there is a gross waste of resources, and if the usual solution advocated for this problem (free trade in manufactured products with the United States) were to be effected, most of what remains of our economic independence would be lost. Professor Moore makes some radical proposals on the subject, notably the subordination of tariff policy to competition policy and the removal of the firm’s right of refusal to sell, both to a degree not previously suggested. The work is infused with his view that the public good takes precedence over the right of the individual to pursue his economic self-interest. “Unless politically courageous decisions are made,” he warns, “… our competition policy will continue to be the charade that it now is.”

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6062-8
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. An introduction addressed to economists
    (pp. 1-12)

    The termcompetition policyis used to replace the usual, cumbersome, descriptive phraseanticombines and restrictive trade practices policy. The former term has considerable currency in Britain and was adopted by the Economic Council of Canada in itsInterim Report, on the government’s reference concerning consumer affairs, patents, combines, mergers, and restrictive trade practices.¹Competition policyis preferable not only because it is shorter but also because it places the emphasis on the positive rather than the negative aspects of the problems of public regulation of business behaviour.

    The prerequisites of an effective competition policy consist of the set of...

  5. 1 The state of competition
    (pp. 13-64)

    It is self-evident that a person’s view concerning the reform of Canadian competition policy is a reflection of his conception of how the economy now operates and how it would operate if conditions were changed. Some consider that, given human nature, the performance of companies is as good as can be expected, and little is to be gained by adding to government regulations. Others consider that there is considerable scope for improvement. The logical point at which to start an inquiry, therefore, is with a consideration of the nature and extent of competition in Canada in the 1960s.

    The difficulty...

  6. 2 Economic wastes attributable to imperfect competition
    (pp. 65-104)

    Economic wasteis a relative term; it is the shortfall below some superior alternative. So, to begin, we need a model against which to compare performance of actual industries. Obviously, there would be little point in setting up a comparison model which was an unattainable ideal. In particular, one wants to be sure that the comparison behaviour of firms, industries, and the economy is viable. Having chosen a viable comparison behaviour, the next step is to identify the wastes in our economy in the form of departures from the comparison model. Even so, the economic wastes identified in this manner...

  7. 3 The effects of the present law
    (pp. 105-126)

    Although it is the effects of the Combines Investigation Act that are of primary importance, the degree to which the presumed intent of the law has been realized is also of interest. If it were decided that the objectives of the legislation had not been attained, there would be a prima facie case for legislative amendment. However, ascertaining the degree to which the objectives of the legislation have been realized is difficult because the intent of the statute is by no means easy to discern. There are six different sources of evidence of intent, and they are not likely to...

  8. 4 Analysis of the issues
    (pp. 127-200)

    The general objective of a national competition policy is, of course, to increase income per capita by increasing productivity. The role of a competition policy is to force change and efficiency upon industries.

    To make the objectives specific, I have adopted two general rules which are also criteria of business performance: the rule of consumers’ sovereignty and the rule of fair competition among companies. The consumers’ sovereignty rule is that the consumer is entitled to be provided with the goods and services of his choice at the lowest attainable cost, to be offered his choice of as much or as...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 201-208)
  10. Index
    (pp. 209-217)