Topic: Antitrust, competition and regulatory

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Competition Bureau to Publish Merger Register

Deal Law Wire - Norton Rose Fulbright

UPDATE:  The Merger Register went live on March 9, 2012.

The Competition Bureau will, at “the beginning of March”, start publishing a “Merger Register” on its website that will disclose certain information about transactions that are subject to the pre-merger notification obligations contained in the Competition Act.  Designed to increase the level of transparency at the Bureau, the Merger Register is not without controversy.  Divulging such information is a marked departure in practice, as the Bureau has traditionally felt constrained by the confidentiality restrictions in the Competition Act.

The Bureau announced on February 6, 2012 that any merger review … Continue Reading

Higher Investment Canada Act & Competition Act Thresholds for 2012

 Under the Investment Canada Act, Canada’s foreign investment review law,  the direct acquisition of control of a Canadian business by a non-Canadian from a WTO-member country is subject to pre-closing review and approval where the assets of the acquired business exceed a prescribed threshold.  Effective February 25, 2012, that threshold is $330 million, up from the 2011 threshold of $312 million. 

Under the Competition Act, Canada’s antitrust law, there is a two-part test for determining whether a pre-merger notification is necessary. The test is based on the size of the parties and the size of the transaction.  Under … Continue Reading

PM’s Words Add Confusion to Investment Canada Act Debate

Apparently drawing inspiration from the opening lines of British stand-up comedian Alexie Sayle’s 1985 hit, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has again waded into the issue of foreign investment in Canada.  Harper’s is the only government to have used the Investment Canada Act to reject an announced acquisition of a Canadian business, first in 2008 and then again in 2010. Following the latter, BHP Billiton’s proposed hostile take-over of Potash Corporation, the government announced its intention to “clarify” the criteria used to evaluate transactions.  More than a year later, no clarification has been provided.

Government officials, including the … Continue Reading