Tag archives: Canadian Competition Bureau

Canadian Government Announces New Policy Applying “Enhanced Scrutiny” to Certain Foreign Investments During COVID-19

Market Contraction

The financial markets and global economy have experienced a precipitous decline and substantial volatility due to the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This has had a significant and immediate impact on the level of M&A activity, both in Canada and globally, as companies are shelving deals or simply walking away entirely.

In fact, Thomson Reuters, citing data from the financial research firm Refinitiv, recently reported that there was a 57% decline in M&A activity in Q1 2020 as compared to Q1 2019, as Canadian M&A activity dropped to its lowest level since 2015. Globally M&A activity … Continue Reading

2020 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 now both been released for 2020. The Commissioner of Competition announced on April 1 that the threshold would remain the same as in 2019.

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 size of the transaction. The transaction size component can be adjusted annually for inflation. Under the size of the parties test, … 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 which aim, among other things, to clarify the Bureau’s approach.

Background

The immunity and leniency programs’ purpose is to uncover and stop criminal anti-competitive activity prohibited by the Competition Act. In fact, the programs have been described as one of the Bureau’s best tools … 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:

  1. Opportunities where the Bureau can support increased competition through changes to regulations or policies; and
  2. Input on the Bureau’s draft Market Studies Information Bulletin.

Supporting Increased Competition

Using the Advocacy Suggestion Form, the Bureau is collecting perspectives on areas in which it could advocate for increased competition and innovation. Specifically, the form seeks input on sectors that should be examined, as well as the competitive issues or harms in the sectors. In investigating these two items, the Bureau is … 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 increased since 2003, and had the fee been adjusted annual for inflation, it would currently be approximately $65,500. They also suggested that additional funds are required given the increase in the number of transactions considered “complex” and the considerable resources that are required to … 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 change to the filing fee must be approved by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Merger notification regime

Proposed transactions that exceed the merger notifications thresholds in the Competition Act cannot be completed until certain steps have been taken.  A pre-merger notification is … Continue Reading

Keeping up with the Competition Bureau: recent position statements

Under the Competition Act, RSC 1985 c. C-34, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) reviews mergers to assess whether they are likely to substantially lessen or prevent competition in one or more relevant markets. As stated in its Merger Enforcement Guidelines (Guidelines), the Bureau generally makes its determination by assessing the competitive effects of the merger in those markets where each party to the merger supplies products that are substitutes between each other (Relevant Market).

In an effort to promote transparency around its processes and its analytical approach to merger reviews, the Bureau publishes Position StatementsContinue Reading

Cross-border lumber deal felled by Competition concerns

Tennessee-based Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) recently abandoned its proposed acquisition of Canadian competitor Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. (Ainsworth). The decision came several days after an announcement by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and an announcement by the Canadian Competition Bureau (Bureau) that they each considered the transaction would likely substantially lessen competition of the sale of oriented strand board (OSB).  The Bureau and DOJ collaborated and shared information during the review of the proposed merger.

The Bureau, DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission have long coordinated reviews of cross-border mergers.  This … Continue Reading

Canada’s Competition Bureau requires divestitures and limits on supplier contracts in clearing Loblaw-Shoppers merger

Approximately eight months after the announcement of Loblaw Companies Limited’s proposed acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) concluded its review and reached a consent agreement with Loblaw to resolve certain concerns over the potential anti-competitive effect of the transaction.

According to the Bureau, the consent agreement will “preserve competition in the retail sale of pharmacy products and drugstore-type merchandise in Canada by requiring divestitures in 27 local markets and prohibiting Loblaw from engaging in specific conduct with suppliers.” While store divestitures are not uncommon in retail mergers, it is noteworthy the Bureau imposed … Continue Reading

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