Canadian Journal of Law and Technology


Heller v Uber Technologies, 2019 ONCA 1, organizing horizontal cartels, uber-led cartels, Competition Act


This paper argues that Uber’s ordinary operation should be characterized as organizing horizontal cartels among drivers that not only fix the fares of ride- hailing services using its platform but also allocate customers. Uber-led cartels, therefore, violate section 45(1) of the Competition Act5 of Canada. In doing so, this paper analyzes the relationships between Uber and drivers and argues that (i) Uber is the organizer of price-fixing and market allocation collusions among drivers, (ii) the collusions are horizontal, and (iii) they are per se illegal.

The first section discusses the general structure of peer-to-peer markets. The second section examines factors indicating the illegality of cartels organized by Uber under the Competition Act of Canada. The last section will provide some legal and technical solutions that may help Uber to remedy the anti- competitiveness of its platform.