Canada’s Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) recently signed a new competition enforcement agreement, the Multilateral Mutual Assistance and Cooperation Framework for Competition Authorities (“MMAC”), with competition authorities in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.  The MMAC is intended to improve the Bureau’s ability to cooperate with its counterparts in cross-border investigations, competition policy development, competition advocacy and outreach, inter-organizational training and on special projects.

The Bureau advances international enforcement cooperation and convergence in three general ways. The first is through bilateral and multilateral relationships.  The Bureau has developed an extensive network of cooperation relationships with competition agencies around the world. Many of these are based on bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements (many in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding).   In addition to the MMAC, the Bureau currently has cooperation instruments relating to Canada’s competition and consumer protection laws with 15 foreign jurisdictions.  It is interesting to note that the MMAC is the first direct cooperation agreement with the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority.

Other legal tools, such as the U.S.-Canada Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, have permitted the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau to conduct joint and parallel investigations into criminal price-fixing investigations.  So called ‘second generation MOUs’, along with reciprocal information gateway provisions (such as section 29 of the Competition Act, which deals with the treatment of confidential information in the Bureau’s possession), address the exchange of confidential information between Canada and other jurisdictions, such as Hong Kong and Japan.  The MMCA is a second generation MOU that will permit the reciprocal exchange of confidential information and cross-border evidence gathering between the signatories.
Continue Reading Competition Bureau Continues to Promote International Cooperation in Enforcement – Enters into a cooperation agreement with Five Eyes Counterparts

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.


Continue Reading Competition Bureau Seeks to Promote Consideration of Competition by Policymakers with New Toolkit

Earlier this month, John Pecman published a highly topical article in Competition Policy International on the dominance and durable market power that Big Tech companies are said to have in today’s economy and on the responses from international competition agencies titled “Dethroning the Digital Platform Champions”.

“One has to applaud the success of the so-called

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

On November 12, 2019, Jenna Ward and Justine Reisler attended the Global Competition Review’s 3rd Annual Women in Antitrust Conference in Washington, D.C. with over 100 female delegates from around the world. During this conference, female thought leaders discussed a variety of topics, including (i) big tech; (ii) killer acquisitions; (iii) information sharing; and

On October 3, 2014, the Commissioner of Competition (“Commissioner”) announced the appointment of Rambod Behboodi as the Deputy Commissioner of the Competition Promotion Branch – the new branch within the Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) that will be created as part of the Bureau’s realignment initiative, where its existing eight branches will be consolidated into four.  The

On June 5, 2014, Lisa Campbell was appointed to the position of Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition of the Merger Branch of the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”).  Ms. Campbell was mostly recently the Deputy Commissioner of the Fair Business Practices Branch of the Bureau.  A week later on June 12, 2014, Ms. Campbell gave a

In January 2014 the South African Competition Commission used its newly acquired powers to launch a market inquiry into the private healthcare sector. Unsurprisingly, this has caused concern among industry participants keen to learn what this means for their business.

After suffering an initial setback from a challenge regarding the independence of a third party

A re-elected South African government confirmed the re-appointment of Minister of Economic Development, Mr Ebrahim Patel on May 25, 2014. The ministry is responsible for the implementation of South Africa’s competition policy. His was not the only important recent appointment. Just last week Minister Patel announced the appointment of Mr Tembinkosi Bonakele as Competition Commissioner

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