Recognizing the critical role of the Competition Act (the “Act”) in promoting dynamic and fair markets, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, announced on February 7, 2022 that he would carefully evaluate potential ways to improve its operation. This included, among other things, adapting the law to today’s digital reality to better tackle emerging forms of harmful behaviour in the digital economy; tackling wage-fixing agreements; modernizing the penalty regime to ensure that it serves as a genuine deterrent against harmful business conduct; more clearly addressing drip pricing; increasing access to justice for those injured by harmful conduct; and fixing loopholes that allow for harmful conduct. During an interview with the Toronto Star, the Minister suggested that this was the first step in a “comprehensive” review of the Act.

Continue Reading Significant Amendments to Competition Act Coming Soon

Competition law generally classifies relationships between firms as vertical (supplier and customer) or horizontal (competitors or potential competitors). The nature of the relationship has important implications for how the law applies.

Continue Reading Navigating Competition Law Compliance in Dual Distribution Relationships – Recent Case Law and Lessons from Europe

Competition class actions are often sparked by regulatory or criminal investigations, especially when there are admissions of anti-competitive conduct or guilty pleas.

In the recent Jensen decision, the Federal Court of Canada considered when the mere existence of an investigation can support certification, and what is required for a foreign investigation to satisfy the “some basis in fact” standard.

Continue Reading Can Foreign Investigations Establish Some Basis in Fact of an Alleged Conspiracy?

As discussed in more detail in our prior blog post titled “Competition Bureau Recommendations to Strengthen the Competition Act”, in a continuing effort to ensure that Canada has an effective and impactful competition law framework, Senator Howard Wetston invited interested stakeholders to participate in a consultation to promote additional dialogue on the path forward for Canadian competition law. As part of this consultation, Senator Wetston received comments from more than 25 stakeholders, including a detailed submission from the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”).

The Bureau’s submission includes 35 wide-ranging recommendations that, if implemented, would fundamentally reshape competition policy in Canada. To help businesses better understand the impact of these recommendations, we are releasing a series of blog posts discussing the recommendations on a topic-by-topic basis. This blog post is focussed on abuse of dominance.

Continue Reading Competition Bureau Recommendations Regarding Abuse of Dominance

As discussed in our prior blog post titled “Competition Tribunal Dismisses Request for Interim Interim Order”, the Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) previously found that it does not have the power to grant “interim interim” relief pending its decision for “interim” relief. While the Tribunal’s decision was initially upheld following an emergency motion before a single judge of the Federal Court of Appeal (the “FCA”), the jurisdictional question before it was recently overturned following a hearing before a full panel of FCA judges. In particular, this panel of judges confirmed that the Tribunal has the jurisdiction to temporarily block mergers (i.e., grant “interim interim”) where the Commissioner meets certain evidentiary and legal burdens.

This blog post includes some relevant background information, discusses the FCA’s recent decision and summarizes the implications for businesses going forward.

Continue Reading Canada’s Competition Tribunal Has Jurisdiction to Grant “Interim Interim” Relief in the Contested Merger Context

On February 12, 2022, the federal government proposed, in the Canada Gazette, amendments to the National Security Review of Investments Regulations (the “Regulations”). The Regulations set out the timelines of the national security review process under the Investment Canada Act (the “Act”). If ratified, the proposed amendments would create a voluntary filing mechanism for investors that do not currently have a filing obligation under the Act, and would extend the initial national security review period from 45 days to 5 years for all investments by non-Canadians that do not make a filing. Investors who choose to submit a voluntary filing will, within 45 days from the certification date of their filing, know whether the Government of Canada intends to challenge their investment. The proposed amendments will benefit businesses contemplating an investment in Canada by creating an option to achieve regulatory certainty pre-implementation.

Continue Reading Canada Proposes to Permit Voluntary Filings under National Security Provisions of its Investment Canada Act

As discussed in more detail in our prior blog post titled “Competition Bureau Recommendations to Strengthen the Competition Act”, in a continuing effort to ensure that Canada has an effective and impactful competition law framework, Senator Howard Wetston invited interested stakeholders to participate in a consultation to promote additional dialogue on the path forward for Canadian competition law. As part of this consultation, Senator Wetston received comments from more than 25 stakeholders, including a detailed submission from the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”).

Continue Reading Competition Bureau Recommendations Regarding Merger Review in Canada

Governments and competition agencies around the world, including those in Canada, the United States and Europe, are reviewing their competition policies to assess whether they are capable of addressing novel and complex issues arising in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing digital economy. These issues arise because the digital economy, unlike traditional markets, is often charactered by, among other things, platform-based business models, multi-sided markets, network effects, economies of scale, rapid technological change and disruptive innovation.

Continue Reading Competition Bureau Recommendations to Strengthen the Competition Act: Introduction

On February 2nd, 2022, the Director of Investments issued his annual report on the administration of the Investment Canada Act (“ICA”) for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 2020 and ending March 31, 2021. The Annual Report provides insight on key trends relating to foreign investment and national security reviews in Canada.

During the period covered by the Annual Report, a total of 826 filings were certified under the ICA, representing a 20% decrease from the 1,032 filings made in the previous year. Most notably, the number of applications for review (required in the case of high-value foreign acquisitions) dropped by 67% over the prior period.

Continue Reading Investment Canada Act: 2020/21 Annual Report

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (“ISED”), Francois-Philippe Champagne, made two important announcements on Monday morning in an exclusive interview with Toronto Star business reporter, Christine Dobby, and in a subsequent press release: (1) the Government of Canada (the “Government”) will engage in a broad review of the Competition Act (the “Act”) with a view to promoting dynamic and fair markets, and (2) the $93 million transaction-size threshold for pre-merger notification will not be increased this year – an unusual development following a year of GDP growth.

Continue Reading Upcoming Review of the Competition Act and Other Developments