Charles River senior consultant Lilla Csorgo rejoins Canada's Competition Bureau

02 December 2021 2 min. read

Lilla Csorgo, PhD, formerly a senior consultant at Charles River Associates (CRA), has rejoined Canada’s Competition Bureau as chief economist.

Csorgo will serve as the government agency’s T.D. MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics and act as chief economist for a one-year term beginning this month. She will advise Commissioner Matthew Boswell on economic matters relating to the bureau’s investigations and litigation, as well as competition policy matters.

The Competition Bureau administers and enforces Canada’s Competition Act. The agency’s branches cover mergers and monopolistic practices, cartels and deceptive marketing practices, and competition promotion.

Csorgo spent the last two-and-a-half years in Sydney, Australia as a senior consultant to the antirust & competition economics practice of CRA, a global firm specializing in litigation, regulatory, financial, and management consulting. Before that, she spent two years as the head of economics and policy at the Hong Kong Competition Commission and over five years as chief economist at the New Zealand Commerce Commission.

Charles River senior consultant Lilla Csorgo rejoins Canada's Competition Bureau

Csorgo also had an earlier two-year stint as a vice president at CRA. Between 2007 and 2009 she served as T.D. MacDonald Chair at the Competition Bureau and before that was an economist member of the Canadian Competition Tribunal.

She has lectured at several Canadian, New Zealand, and Hong Kong universities and conducted training seminars and workshops for organizations such as the OECD and World Bank.

Csorgo holds a PhD in economics from the University of Toronto and a bachelor’s degree from McGill University.

"We very much welcome the return of Lilla D. Csorgo as the T.D. MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics. The Bureau's competition enforcement, as well as advocacy, competition promotion, and policy matters, will benefit from her wealth of knowledge and experience," Boswell said.

Boswell has been calling for the Competition Act to be brought up to the standards of strengthened antitrust rules in the US and Europe, where penalties for anti-competitive behaviour are stiffer. In Canada, the maximum fine for cartel behaviour caps out at $25 million, according to Boswell, compared to possible fines of hundreds of millions in the US.

The commissioner has also been lobbying for more resources to handle merger reviews. Though the bureau will receive an additional $96 million in federal funding in the next five years, none of that will go to the merger review program, which is funded by company filing fees.

Whether the massive Shaw-Rogers merger deal clears will be a good barometer of how toothless the Competition Bureau and CRTC are in protecting Canadian consumers.