A longer version of this article has also been published in the Canadian Competition Law Review.

“Greenwashing” involves making environmental (i.e., “green”) claims which may leave consumers with the false or misleading impression that a product or service is “environmentally friendly” when, in fact, it is not. In Canada, greenwashing – as a form of misleading advertising – is largely governed by the Competition Act (the “Act”). Specifically, section 74.01(1) of the Act sets out the general civil prohibition against making representations to the public for the purposes of promoting a product, service or business interest that are false or misleading in a material respect.[1] Section 52(1) of the Act contains the general criminal prohibition against misleading advertising. This section prohibits a person from knowingly or recklessly engaging in the activities prohibited by section 74.01(1). Continue Reading Spotlight on Greenwashing

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

On June 23, 2022, significant amendments were made to the Competition Act (the “Act”). Our previous blog post discusses these amendments in detail. Among other things, the proposed amendments added to the list of the factors enumerated in the Act that the Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) may consider under the abuse of dominance, merger review and civil competitor collaboration provisions when determining whether a practice, merger or agreement prevents or lessens competition substantially.

Continue Reading POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF “NEW” SLPC FACTORS IN THE COMPETITION ACT

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 August 2, 2022, amendments to the National Security Review of Investments Regulations will come into force, creating a voluntary filing mechanism for investors who do not currently have a filing obligation under the Investment Canada Act (the “Act”). These amendments will also extend the initial national security review period from 45 days to five years for all investments by non-Canadians who choose not to make a filing.

The federal government first proposed these amendments in the Canada Gazette on February 12, 2022. The amendments as posted in the Canadian Gazette on June 3, 2022 are unchanged from the February proposal, aside from the coming into force date.

Continue Reading Canada to Permit Voluntary Filings Under National Security Provisions of Its Investment Canada Act

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

The Trudeau government’s plan for a quick and easy win on competition law reform owing to public pressure to tame the large digital platforms will result in significant changes to the Competition Act being pushed through with little to no scrutiny because there is not enough time to properly consult and debate the proposed reforms under the Budget Implementation Act (“BIA”) process.  While Justin Trudeau campaigned to control the use of omnibus budget bills, he continues their use even for significant amendments to economic framework legislation.  Continue Reading Rapid passage of Competition Act amendments through Budget Implementation Act process can cause more harm than good

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