OTTAWA Jan 14 The former head of Canada's
competition watchdog, Melanie Aitken, has rejoined the Bennett
Jones law firm where she will draw on her regulatory expertise
to advise clients on investments in the country, the firm said
Aitken will co-chair Bennett Jones' antitrust and
competition practice, and help U.S. and Canadian clients steer
their way through any hurdles arising from their dealings in
Canada from her base in Washington.
Aitken was a partner at the business law firm before she
joined Canada's Competition Bureau in 2005.
"The addition of Melanie and a Washington office will
provide our U.S. and Canadian clients with exceptional Canadian
legal services and insight", says Hugh MacKinnon, Bennett Jones
chairman and chief executive.
Aitken headed the Competition Bureau from 2009 until last
September, when she stepped down two years before her term
The independent agency is charged with reviewing major
business deals to ensure fair competition. It has the power to
challenge mergers, negotiate conditions with the companies
involved and refer them to a special competition tribunal.
Aitken earned a reputation for being tough as Canada's top
antitrust official. She made full use of new powers granted by
the government and went after credit card companies, realtors
and mobile telephone companies for practices she suspected were
harmful to consumers.
One of her last decisions was to sue Canada's three leading
phone companies for what she said was the promotion of costly
texting services, while giving the impression they were free.