Cartels & Other Competition Criminal Matters

The Evolving Competition Law Landscape in Canada – Where Are We Now and What’s Next?

The final (and most significant) legislative bill in Canada’s current competition law reform process – Bill C-59 –  received royal assent on June 20, 2024. 

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 consider ways to modernize and improve its operation. Following this announcement, significant competition law reform has taken place in Canada, including the passage of the following three bills:Continue Reading BILL C-59 RECEIVES ROYAL ASSENT

The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming businesses around the world, offering unprecedented opportunities for innovation and economic prosperity. However, it also presents unique challenges for competition authorities tasked with ensuring fair and efficient markets. In response, the competition authorities such as the Canadian Competition Bureau, the UK Competition and Market Authority (CMA), the European Commission – DG Competition (EC) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have been actively engaging in consultations and research to understand the implications of AI on competition policy. This blog highlights some of these agencies’ efforts to adapt competition policy to evolving digital markets as well as noting some of the key legal antitrust risks for business.Continue Reading Competition Authorities shining the light on AI

On September 20, 2023, the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (“ISED”) released a report summarizing the submissions received from the public relating to the ongoing competition law amendment consultation process (the “Consultation Report”).

By way of background, as discussed in our previous blog post, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, launched the much anticipated public consultation for potential amendments to the Competition Act (the “Act”) on November 17, 2022. The call for public engagement highlighted that the review would focus on the role and functioning of the Act, the role and powers of the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”), the effectiveness of remedies and private redress mechanisms, addressing challenges of data and digital markets, and other pro-competitive policies.Continue Reading Public Consultation on Amendments to the Competition Act – Summary of Feedback

On September 18, 2023, Bill C-352, which was introduced by Jagmeet Singh (leader of the NDP), had its first reading in the House of Commons (the “Singh Bill”). On September 21, 2023, Bill C-56, which was introduced by Chrystia Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance), also received its first reading in the House of Commons (the “Government Bill”). Each of these bills includes significant proposed amendments to the Competition Act in response to the ongoing public consultation and legislation review process regarding competition policy in Canada.

While each of the bills share some similarities (including, for example, the introduction of market study powers and removal of the efficiencies defence), the bills include a number of different proposals and the Singh Bill includes overall more substantive recommendations for amendments to Canada’s existing competition law regime.Continue Reading Proposed Amendments to the Competition Act receive first reading in House of Commons

On June 23, 2022, Bill C-19, also known as the Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No.1 (“BIA”), received royal assent. As discussed in more detail in our previous blog post, the BIA included significant amendments to the Competition Act (the “Act”), including the addition of new criminal cartel provisions prohibiting so-called wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements, which will become effective as of June 23, 2023. More specifically, these provisions will prohibit agreements between unaffiliated employers to either “fix, maintain, decrease or control salaries, wages or terms and conditions of employment” or “not solicit or hire employees”.Continue Reading Competition Bureau Issues Finalized Enforcement Guidelines for Wage-Fixing and No-Poaching Offences:  What You Need To Know

On September 20, 2022, the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) hosted its Competition and Green Growth Summit (the “Summit”). In a nutshell:  while the Competition Bureau did not provide any definitive policy pronouncements or specific directives (as the Summit was structured as a high level discussion on the intersection of competition law, deceptive marketing and sustainability policies), sustainability related matters are clearly an enforcement priority for the Bureau. Among other things, Commissioner Boswell highlighted the need for urgent action in addressing climate change and the increased interest by consumers and businesses in moving towards a greener economy.
Continue Reading Competition Bureau Green Growth Summit – Summary and Key Takeaways

Significant amendments to Canada’s Competition Act (the “Act”) are now law. The amendments can be broken down into five categories: (i) abuse of dominance, (ii) criminal cartel and competitor collaborations, (iii) marketing and consumer protection, (iv) merger review and (v) evidence gathering. All amendments are currently in effect with the exception of the new offence for wage-fixing and no-poach agreements and the increased penalties under the existing criminal cartel provisions of the Act, which will come into effect on June 23, 2023.
Continue Reading Canada’s New Competition Act Amendments and Private Competition Litigation: Compliance Tips for Businesses Operating in Canada

On August 17, 2022, the Federal Court of Appeal (the “FCA”) dismissed the appeal by Kobe Mohr in Mohr v. National Hockey League. In summary, the FCA found that the decision reached by the Federal Court was correct in its conclusion, and that neither s. 48(1) nor s. 45(1) of the Competition Act (the “Act”) apply to the conduct at issue.
Continue Reading Federal Court of Appeal Confirms Scope of Competition Act Conspiracy Provisions

On June 23, 2022, Bill C-19, also known as the Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No.1 (“BIA”), received royal assent. The BIA was tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and included significant proposed amendments to the Competition Act (the “Act”).
Continue Reading Significant Amendments to Canada’s Competition Act Are Now Law: What You Need to Know

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