The Canadian Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) issued much welcomed guidance on Friday to confirm what many have said to date, namely that no-poaching, wage-fixing and other buy-side agreements fall outside the scope of the criminal conspiracy provision (section 45) of the Competition Act (the “Act”). This guidance comes in
Leslie has recently returned to her communications, competition and administrative law practice at Fasken from an in-house counsel position at a leading global satellite services provider. Leslie provides complex legal and strategic advice to Canadian and foreign wireline, wireless and satellite telecommunications service providers on all aspects of telecommunications and radiocommunications regulation in Canada.
The Canadian Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) has released a toolkit – Strengthening Canada’s economy through pro-competitive policies (the “Toolkit”) – to assist regulators and policymakers, at all levels of government, in maximizing competition in Canadian industries. The Toolkit offers a five-step process for policymakers to assess the impact of new and existing policies on competition, and tailor those policies to maximize the benefits of competition across the Canadian economy.
The Bureau suggests engaging in a competition assessment each time a new policy is proposed or an existing policy is reviewed. The Bureau’s five-step competition assessment process is summarized below:
Step 1: Identify the policy. The first step is to specify the underlying goals that the policy is designed to achieve and the proposed measures to achieve those goals.
Step 2: Assess whether the policy impacts competition. The second step involves an assessment of the impact of the proposed measures on competition, with reference to the following four indicators of a competitive marketplace:
- the ability of businesses to enter or expand in a market or operate across borders;
- the ability of businesses to set the price, quality and quantity of the products or services sold;
- the incentives for businesses to compete vigorously; and
- the potential for consumers to switch between competing businesses.
Many have expressed concern that retailers are now incentivized to unilaterally increase the prices for products critical to the COVID-19 response. Canada’s competition enforcer, the Competition Bureau, does not have clear jurisdiction to regulate prices or otherwise directly prevent price gouging. However, the Ontario government is now expressly prohibiting price gouging for “necessary goods” (as defined). In particular, through an emergency prohibition order made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act on March 27, 2020, certain persons are prohibited from selling “necessary goods” at “unconscionable prices”.
The competitiveness and reach of Canadian wireline and wireless services are critical to the economic prosperity and social inclusion of Canadians. It is not surprising therefore that the Canadian Competition Bureau identified telecommunications as a priority area in its 2019-2020 Annual Plan.
True to this plan, in August of this year the Bureau released…
Citing the desire for a balanced approach to the needs of individuals and organizations under Canada’s anti-spam law, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development announced today that he is delaying indefinitely the coming into force of the private right of action provisions (section 51) in Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL).
This important decision is…
Hertz and Dollar Thrifty agree to pay $1.25 million
The Competition Bureau announced this week that Hertz and Dollar Thrifty have agreed to pay an administrative monetary penalty of $1.25 million and to implement compliance procedures to resolve the Bureau’s investigation of “drip pricing” by the companies. “Drip pricing” refers to advertised prices that are…
On January 22, 2016, Justice Myers of the Supreme Court of BC issued a decision denying the plaintiffs’ request for disclosure of documents collected by the Competition Bureau in Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v Microsoft Corporation 2016 BC 97.
Pro-Sys v. Microsoft is an indirect purchaser class action for damages based on allegations of anti-competitive conduct. …
On October 1, 2014, the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) announced that Bell Aliant Regional Communications Inc. (“Bell Aliant”) had addressed the Bureau’s vertical foreclosure concerns regarding its proposed acquisition of O.N. Tel Inc. (“Ontera”). It did so by granting to Bragg Communications Inc. (“Eastlink”) a 20-year indefeasible right of use (IRU) of between two and…
On June 27, 2013, Madam Justice B.B. Warkentin of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that section 69(2) of the Competition Act violates sections 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms when applied in criminal proceedings.
Section 69(2) establishes the following presumptions:
- actions taken by an agent of a participant
On April 25, 2013, the Canadian Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) published two new pre-merger notification interpretation guidelines. Subject to limited exceptions, mergers are pre-notifiable in Canada if specified party-size and transaction-size notification thresholds are satisfied. Pre-merger notification interpretation guidelines issued by the Bureau provide guidance on when filing exemptions may apply, how pre-notification thresholds should…