Topic: Antitrust, competition and regulatory

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Data privacy in M&A: new reporting and notification requirements

It is time for organizations to think ahead and prepare for new requirements imposed under the Digital Privacy Act (formerly known as Bill S-4). The new requirements, which will result in significant amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), will come into force on November 1, 2018. The new requirements impose mandatory … Continue reading

Will Canada soon be a global leader in the cannabis space?

Recently, the Cannabis Act was granted Royal Assent, resulting in the official passing of the legislation for legalizing cannabis in Canada. The Act is expected to be in force as of October 17, 2018. The Canadian government’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana may significantly impact capital markets and M&A deals. The decision to legalize recreational marijuana … Continue reading

Competition Bureau opens consultation on revised immunity and leniency programs

Last month, the Competition Bureau issued its revised immunity and leniency programs for public consultation (open until June 29), an important development as it represents the culmination of a process that began in 2015. An initial draft of the immunity program, published last fall, was subject to public consultation and the Bureau made further revisions … Continue reading

The Competition Bureau is soliciting feedback from stakeholders on two new advocacy initiatives

The Competition Bureau recently issued a news release soliciting feedback from stakeholders regarding two of its newest advocacy initiatives: Opportunities where the Bureau can support increased competition through changes to regulations or policies; and Input on the Bureau’s draft Market Studies Information Bulletin. Supporting Increased Competition Using the Advocacy Suggestion Form, the Bureau is collecting perspectives on … Continue reading

Legal update: new European data privacy law comes into force on May 25, 2018

On May 25, 2018 the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force. The GDPR will create new requirements for Canadian companies that handle the personal information of European individuals. The GDPR also allows for heavy penalties to be imposed on organizations that fail to comply with this new regulatory regime. Based … Continue reading

Competition Act Merger Filing Fees Increases to $72,000

Effective May 1, 2018, merging parties will need to dig deeper to cover the fee that must be paid when filing a pre-merger notification or seeking an advance ruling certificate under the Competition Act. The fee is jumping from $50,000 to $72,000. In justifying the increase, the Competition Bureau argues that the fee has not … Continue reading

Canadian Securities Administrators are seeking comments on soliciting dealer arrangements

The Canadian Securities Administrators (the “CSA”) have issued CSA Staff Notice 61-303 and Request for Comment – Soliciting Dealer Arrangements (the “Notice”) on the use of soliciting dealer arrangements. “Soliciting dealer arrangements” generally refer to agreements entered into between issuers and investment dealers under which the issuer agrees to pay to the dealers a fee … Continue reading

2018 merger review thresholds for Competition Act and Investment Canada Act

The threshold for certain pre-closing net benefit reviews under the Investment Canada Act (ICA) and the threshold for a pre-closing merger notification under the Competition Act have been increased for 2018. Competition Act Canada uses a two-part test for determining whether a pre-merger notification is necessary. The two-part test is based on the size of the parties and the … Continue reading

FTC announces increased HSR thresholds for 2018

On January 26, 2018 the Federal Trade Commission announced increased reporting thresholds under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. These reporting thresholds are revised annually based on changes in the US gross national product, and the increases will apply to all transactions that close after the effective date, which likely will be … Continue reading

Facilitation payments exception repealed in Canada

Last week, we covered the topic of facilitation payments and discussed some implications should the exception of facilitation payments be officially repealed in the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA). The repeal has now come to fruition. Global Affairs Canada has announced the removal of the facilitation payments exception from the CFPOA, with the … Continue reading

Facilitation payments and considerations for Canadian businesses

As previously reported, the growth in cross-border transactions has been significant in 2017 thus far. This, coupled with the growing importance of anti-corruption and anti-bribery legislation on an international level, serves as a reminder to companies that laws surrounding the governance of foreign bribery and corruption are still evolving. The Corruption of Foreign Public Officials … Continue reading

Competition Act merger filing fees likely to jump in 2018

The Canadian Competition Bureau has started the process to increase the fee that must be paid when filing a pre-merger notification or seeking an advance ruling certificate under the Competition Act.  The fee is currently $50,000, and the Bureau is seeking permission to increase the fee to up to $72,000, effective April 1, 2018.  Any … Continue reading

From renegotiation to reticence: how changing NAFTA may slow the PE market

Renegotiating or withdrawing altogether from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a focal point of both President Trump’s presidential campaign and his administration. This threat of renegotiation or withdrawal has also been the source of immense speculation from lawyers, economists, politicians and the like regarding the expected implications for the economy, key … Continue reading

Investment Canada Act update: new thresholds and national security in the news

Threshold now $1 billion As a result of recent amendments, most direct acquisitions of control of a Canadian company now only require prior approval of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development under the Investment Canada Act if the enterprise value of the Canadian business exceeds $1 billion.  That is expected to reduce the … Continue reading

2017 merger review thresholds for Competition Act and Investment Canada Act

The threshold for certain pre-closing net benefit reviews under the Investment Canada Act (ICA) and the threshold for a pre-closing merger notification under the Competition Act have been increased for 2017. Competition Act Canada uses a two part test for determining whether a pre-merger notification is necessary. The two-part test is based on the size … Continue reading

National security guidelines shed light on Investment Canada review process

On December 19, 2016, the Government of Canada issued long-sought guidelines to help foreign investors and their advisors understand the national security review process under the Investment Canada Act (ICA). Following amendments to the ICA in 2009 the government has had the explicit authority to review investments in Canadian businesses by non-Canadians to determine whether … Continue reading

Bitcoin update: cryptocurrency remains rare in M&A transactions despite potential

Bitcoin remains a fringe currency in the context of M&A transactions. Despite some notable advantages over fiat currency, the risks associated with funding a large transaction using the cryptocurrency have limited its use to deals between players in the Bitcoin space. This article provides an update to our previous article on Bitcoin’s viability as a … Continue reading

Canada and the EU: update on CETA

Negotiations between Canada and the European Union (EU) on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) began in 2009. In October 2013, an agreement was reached in principle and last month, it was reported that the legal review of CETA has finally been completed. Some reports indicate that CETA could come into effect next year. … Continue reading

M&A implications of recent Federal actions regarding corruption and bribery

Over the past decade, Canada has joined a growing coalition of governments from around the world in toughening its stance against the improper influencing of foreign and domestic government officials. Two recent Government of Canada initiatives encourage acquirers involved in extractive resource industries, or with service contracts with the federal government, to enhance their diligence … Continue reading

New merger review thresholds for Competition Act and Investment Canada Act

The threshold for certain pre-closing net benefit reviews under the Investment Canada Act (ICA) and the threshold for a pre-closing merger notification under the Competition Act have been increased for 2016. Competition Act Canada uses a two part test for determining whether a pre-merger notification is necessary. The two-part test is based on the size … Continue reading

Competition law implications of M&A: part II

As discussed in a previous post on this blog, a merger or acquisition will be barred where it is found to prevent or substantially lessen competition in a market (Competition Act, s. 92(1)). The Commissioner’s ability to apply to the Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) to inhibit a merger or acquisition applies to both proposed and … Continue reading
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