Restraints of trade and dominance in Canada: overview

A Q&A guide to restraints of trade and dominance in Canada.

The Q&A gives a succinct overview of restraints of trade, monopolies and abuses of market power in Canada. In particular, it covers the regulatory authorities and the regulatory framework, the scope of rules, exemptions, exclusions, statutes of limitation, notification, investigations, penalties and enforcement, third party damages claims, EU law, joint ventures and proposals for reform.

For information on merger control, regulatory framework and regulatory authorities, relevant triggering events and thresholds in Canada, visit Merger control in Canada: overview.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to competition and cartel leniency. For a full list of jurisdictional Restraints of Trade and Dominance Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/restraintsoftrade-guide. For a full list of jurisdictional Merger Control Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/mergercontrol-guide.

For a full list of jurisdictional Cartel Leniency Q&As, which provide a succinct overview of leniency and immunity, the applicable procedure and the regulatory authorities in multiple jurisdictions, visit www.practicallaw.com/leniency-guide.

Robert E Kwinter, Evangelia L Kriaris and Kevin H MacDonald, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Contents

Restraints of trade

Scope of rules

1. Are restrictive agreements and practices regulated? If so, what are the substantive provisions and regulatory authority?

Regulatory framework

Restrictive agreements and practices are regulated under Part VIII of the Canadian Competition Act (Competition Act, R.S.C. 1985 c. C-34), which specifically prohibits:

  • Refusal to deal (section 75). This involves a refusal by a supplier to supply a customer with an adequate supply of a product, which results in an adverse effect on competition in a market.

  • Price maintenance (section 76). Applies where a supplier "by agreement, threat, promise or any like means" influences upward or discourages the reduction of the price at which a customer (or any other person to whom the product comes for resale), supplies, offers to supply, or advertises a product within Canada, which results in an adverse effect on competition in a market. It can also include a refusal to supply a product to, or otherwise discriminate against, any person engaged in business in Canada because of that person's low pricing policy (where it results in an adverse effect on competition in a market).

  • Exclusive dealing, tied selling and market restriction (section 77). These practices apply as follows, where the result is that competition is likely to be substantially lessened:

    • exclusive dealing: the practice of requiring or inducing a customer to deal only or primarily in products of the supplier by means of more favourable terms or conditions;

    • tied selling: the practice of requiring or inducing a customer to buy a product as a condition of supplying the customer with another product;

    • market restriction: the practice of requiring a customer to sell a product only in a defined market as a condition of supplying that product.

  • Competitor collaborations (section 90.1). These are agreements or arrangements between competitors that do not contravene the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition Act, but are likely to substantially prevent or lessen competition (SPLC).

Regulatory authority

The Commissioner of Competition has the statutory authority to challenge restrictive agreements or practices before the Competition Tribunal.

The Competition Act has separate provisions that regulate criminal cartel behaviour.

See box, The regulatory authorities.

 
2. Do the regulations only apply to formal agreements or can they apply to informal practices?

A formal agreement is not required. The provisions regulating restrictive agreements and practices also apply to informal practices (see Question 1).

 

Exemptions

3. Are there any exemptions? If so, what are the criteria for individual exemption and any applicable block exemptions?

There are certain exemptions, including for example where:

  • Entities are affiliated (sections 76, 77 and 90.1).

  • Proceedings have been commenced or an order is being sought relating to the same conduct under other provisions of the Competition Act (sections 76 and 90.1).

 

Exclusions and statutes of limitation

4. Are there any exclusions? Are there statutes of limitation associated with restrictive agreements and practices?

Exclusions

There are specific exclusions where agreements and practices are not prohibited:

  • Price maintenance, where the customer and supplier are either:

    • in a relationship of principal and agent; or

    • where the customer used the product(s) as a loss leader, used the products not to generate a profit but to attract customers to buy other products, was making a practice of misleading advertising, or did not provide the level of servicing that purchasers of the product would reasonably expect.

  • Exclusive dealing or market restriction, where the practice is carried on for a reasonable time, only to facilitate entry of a new supplier or a new product.

  • Tied selling, where the practice is reasonable, having regard to the relationship between the products.

  • Competitor collaborations, where:

    • the agreement/arrangement only relates to exports (with no effects in Canada);

    • the agreement or arrangement is subject to specific legislation (for example the Bank Act); or

    • gains in efficiency are greater than, and will offset, the effects of any substantial prevention or lessening of competition (SPLC) and would likely be lost if a Competition Tribunal order was issued.

Statutes of limitation

There are no limitation periods.

 

Notification

5. What are the notification requirements for restrictive agreements and practices?

Notification

There is no formal notification process in Canada.

Informal guidance/opinion

While there is no formal notification process, a party can apply to the Commissioner of Competition for an advisory opinion on the applicability of one or more provisions of the Competition Act or regulations to a proposed practice or conduct. Opinions are binding on the Commissioner if all of the material facts that have been submitted by or on behalf of an applicant are accurate and remain substantially unchanged. However, the Commissioner has the discretion to decide whether to provide an opinion.

Responsibility for notification

Notification is not required.

Relevant authority

A request for an opinion is submitted to the Commissioner.

Form of notification

Not applicable.

Filing fee

A request for a written opinion from the Commissioner requires the payment of a fee (plus applicable taxes) to be paid by the party requesting the opinion. The fee varies depending on the practice or conduct forming the subject of the opinion.

 

Investigations

6. Who can start an investigation into a restrictive agreement or practice?

Regulators

The Commissioner of Competition can commence an investigation on his own initiative.

Third parties

Third parties can complain to the Commissioner. He can then exercise his discretion and determine whether to launch an inquiry to investigate the matter. Investigations by the Competition Bureau are usually initiated as a result of complaints from third parties.

In addition, the Competition Act provides that the Commissioner must initiate an inquiry if he receives a formal complaint from six people who are:

  • Resident in Canada.

  • At least 18 years old.

  • Of the opinion that a business has engaged in conduct that may be subject to an order under Part VIII of the Competition Act (including restrictive agreements or practices).

 
7. What rights (if any) does a complainant or other third party have to make representations, access documents or be heard during the course of an investigation?

Representations

Third parties can make representations to the Competition Bureau regarding restrictive agreements or practices.

Document access

Third parties do not have an automatic right to access documents provided to the Bureau in the context of its review of restrictive agreements or practices. However, they can seek a court order to obtain disclosure.

Be heard

Third parties can make complaints and provide representations to the Bureau. Section 103.1 of the Competition Act also allows private litigants a limited right to seek relief directly from the Competition Tribunal, with leave, from certain restrictive agreements or practices (sections 75 to 77, Competition Act).

 
8. What are the stages of the investigation and timetable?

There are no formal timetables for an investigation. Where the Competition Bureau receives a complaint, it will decide whether an investigation is warranted. The length of a Bureau investigation will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • The circumstances of the case.

  • The extent of co-operation provided by the party subject to the investigation.

  • The scope of the investigation.

Parties who are the target of an investigation can make submissions to the Bureau. Upon completing his investigation, the Commissioner of Competition may decide to challenge a restrictive agreement or practice before the Competition Tribunal. The length of hearing before the Tribunal can take several months, depending on the complexity of the case, and can include testimony by third party witnesses. In some cases, third parties can also be granted intervenor status to participate in the hearing.

The restrictive agreements and practices identified in Question 1, are part of the civil provisions of the Competition Act and are therefore subject to administrative sanctions only. These are different from practices which contravene the criminal provisions of the Competition Act (such as conspiracies and bid rigging, which are subject to criminal sanctions such as fines and imprisonment and a separate investigatory and enforcement procedure).

 

Publicity and confidentiality

9. How much information is made publicly available concerning investigations into potentially restrictive agreements or practices? Is any information made automatically confidential and is confidentiality available on request?

Publicity

Information provided to the Competition Bureau must be treated confidentially, subject to certain exceptions (section 29, Competition Act).

Inquiries by the Bureau are conducted in private. However, once the Commissioner of Competition challenges a restrictive agreement or practice before the Competition Tribunal, information obtained during the course of the Bureau's investigation can be used in its application since it would be for the purposes of the administration or enforcement of the Competition Act (an exception to the confidentiality obligations under section 29 of the Competition Act). Such a challenge is usually accompanied by a press release issued by the Bureau.

Where the matter is settled formally through the registration of a consent agreement, the consent agreement will be filed with the Tribunal and a press release will usually be issued by the Bureau.

Automatic confidentiality

All information provided to the Bureau in the context of its review of a matter is confidential, subject to exceptions.

Confidentiality on request

See above, Automatic confidentiality.

 
10. What are the powers (if any) that the relevant regulator has to investigate potentially restrictive agreements or practices?

The Commissioner of Competition has extensive powers under the Competition Act to investigate reviewable practices. These include powers to make an application, on an ex parte basis, for an order (section 11, Competition Act):

  • Requiring a witness to be examined under oath (or solemn affirmation).

  • Requiring the delivery of written responses to questions, under oath (or solemn affirmation).

  • Requiring the production of documents or other records.

 

Settlements

11. Can the parties reach settlements with regulators to bring an early resolution to an investigation? If so, what are the circumstances for doing so and the applicable procedure?

Where the Commissioner of Competition has determined that a restrictive agreement or practice contravenes one of the provisions of the Competition Act, the Commissioner can seek to resolve the matter either:

  • Informally, by obtaining voluntary compliance from the parties.

  • Formally, through the negotiation and registration of a consent agreement with the Competition Tribunal, which has the same force and effect as an order of the Tribunal.

 
12. Can the regulator accept remedies (commitments) from the parties to address competition concerns without reaching an infringement decision? If so, what are the circumstances for doing so and the applicable procedure?

The Commissioner of Competition can accept remedies (commitments) from the parties to address competition concerns without the need of a formal decision of the Competition Tribunal finding an infringement of the Competition Act. The terms of the voluntary compliance are negotiated between the parties and the Commissioner.

 

Penalties and enforcement

13. What are the regulator's enforcement powers in relation to a prohibited restrictive agreement or practice?

Orders

Where the Commissioner of Competition is unable to reach a settlement with the parties, he can file an application with the Competition Tribunal for an order to remedy the conduct. The Tribunal can make a variety of orders:

  • To prohibit a party from continuing to engage in the anti-competitive conduct.

  • To require that a party supply customers on usual trade terms where there has been a refusal to deal or accept a third party as a customer on usual trade terms in the case of price maintenance.

  • To prohibit any person from doing anything under the agreement or, with the consent of the person, requiring any person to take any other action, whether or not the person is a party to the agreement or arrangement in respect of conduct under section 90.1 of the Competition Act (see Question 1, Regulatory framework).

Fines

Fines are not available for contraventions of sections 75, 76, 77 and 90.1 of the Competition Act.

Personal liability

See above, Fines.

Immunity/leniency

Not applicable.

Impact on agreements

The issuance of a Tribunal order which has the effect of prohibiting certain conduct can effectively result in rendering the application of an entire agreement (or certain provisions) void.

 

Third party damages claims and appeals

14. Can third parties claim damages for losses suffered as a result of a prohibited restrictive agreement or practice? If so, what special procedures or rules (if any) apply? Are collective/class actions possible?

Third party damages

Where a third party has suffered loss or damage as a result of a prohibited restrictive agreement or practice, the party can either:

  • Launch a complaint with the Competition Bureau and ask the Commissioner of Competition to take action to stop the conduct (for example, by bringing an application before the Competition Tribunal).

  • In the case of conduct covered by sections 75 to 77 of the Competition Act, seek leave of the Tribunal to bring its own application under section 103.1 of the Competition Act.

The relief that the Tribunal can order is limited to that provided by the Competition Act under each section (see Question 13) and does not include an order for damages.

However, a third party may be able to seek damages under the limited circumstances allowed for under section 36 of the Competition Act. This private right of action is triggered when the third party suffers damages as a result of another's failure to comply with a Tribunal order (for an infringement of sections 75, 76, 77 or 90.1 of the Competition Act). The action is commenced before a Canadian court rather than the Tribunal.

Special procedures/rules

A claimant must establish all the following (section 36, Competition Act):

  • The elements of the offence on a balance of probabilities (the civil standard of proof). Where a party has been convicted or punished for failure to comply with a Tribunal order, the record of the court proceedings can be used as evidence in proving the failure to comply, in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

  • The actual loss or damage suffered (as a result of the failure to comply with the Tribunal order).

Collective/class actions

An action under section 36 can be launched by a claimant acting either in an individual capacity or as a class action.

 
15. Is there a right of appeal against any decision of the regulator? If so, which decisions, to which body and within which time limits? Are rights of appeal available to third parties, or only to the parties to the agreement or practice?

Rights of appeal and procedure

Where the Commissioner of Competition has made an application to the Competition Tribunal, the Tribunal's decision can be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal as of right, with respect to questions of fact, and with leave, with respect to questions of law. The Federal Court of Appeal's decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, with leave. There is no right to appeal a decision of the Commissioner to not make an application to the Tribunal.

Third party rights of appeal

Where a third party has been granted leave to make an application to the Tribunal (under section 103.1 of the Competition Act), the third party can appeal the decision of the Tribunal to the Federal Court of Appeal (with leave in certain instances, discussed above), whose decision can in turn be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada (see above, Rights of appeal and procedure).

 

Monopolies and abuses of market power

Scope of rules

16. Are monopolies and abuses of market power regulated under administrative and/or criminal law? If so, what are the substantive provisions and regulatory authority?

Regulatory framework

Monopolies and abuses of market power (or abuse of dominance) are regulated as administrative law matters under sections 78 and 79 of the Competition Act. The Competition Act is not intended to condemn a firm merely for having market power, but to ensure that the dominant firm(s) compete(s) on merit and not through abusing its (their) market power. An abuse of market power, will be found where each of the following three elements is established on a balance of probabilities (Canada (Commissioner of Competition) v Canada Pipe Co. (2006), 49 C.P.R. (4th) 241 (FCA)):

  • Dominance. One or more persons substantially or completely control(s) a market.

  • Anti-competitive conduct. The dominant firm (or firms) has (have) engaged in a practice of anti-competitive acts.

  • A substantial prevention or lessening of competition (SPLC). The anti-competitive conduct has had, is having or is likely to result in a SPLC in a relevant market.

Regulatory authority

Abuses of market power are determined by the Competition Tribunal. Where the Commissioner of Competition believes that an abuse of market power is taking place, he has the statutory authority to commence an application before the Tribunal alleging a breach and seeking remedies. Only the Commissioner has this right, third parties do not. However, third parties can complain to the Commissioner about conduct they believe to constitute an abuse of dominance.

 
17. How is dominance/market power determined?

To establish dominance, the Commissioner of Competition must prove that a dominant firm holds (or dominant firms jointly hold) market power; that is, the ability to profitably set prices above competitive levels for a considerable period of time within a relevant market. Market power can also be demonstrated from effects which are not related to price, such as reduced product variety, quality or innovation.

Specific factors that will be considered in determining dominance include both direct and indirect indicators:

  • Direct indicators. These relate to the behaviour of the firm(s); that is, whether profits or observed patterns of conduct such as pricing policies and customer service are associated with firms that have market power.

  • Indirect indicators. These include, but are not limited to:

    • high market shares;

    • high barriers to entry;

    • the ability to punish competitors (for example, by flooding the market with excess production capacity).

Generally, a prima facie determination of dominance will be established on the basis of high market shares.

The Competition Act does not provide a specific market share threshold to trigger a finding of dominance, but the Bureau considers that, in the case of single firm conduct, a market share of 50% or more will generally prompt further review (a market share between 35% and 50% will "generally only prompt further examination if it appears the firm is likely to increase its market share through the alleged anti-competitive conduct within a reasonable period of time". (See Enforcement Guidelines on the Abuse of Dominance Provisions, Sections 78 and 79 of the Competition Act (20 September 2012), available online at: www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/03497.html).

All of the contested abuse cases in Canada, to date, have involved market shares in excess of 70%. The Competition Act also applies to abuses of joint dominance. The Bureau's guidelines provide that a combined market share equal to or exceeding 65% "will generally prompt further examination." None of the contested cases heard by the Tribunal under section 79 have considered an abuse of joint dominance. There is therefore no Canadian jurisprudence on what would constitute an abuse of joint dominance (for example, whether co-ordinated behaviour between firms is required or whether conscious parallelism would be sufficient).

 
18. Are there any broad categories of behaviour that may constitute abusive conduct?

For the Competition Tribunal to find an abuse of dominance, the Commissioner of Competition must prove that:

  • The dominant firm(s) has/have engaged in a practice of anti-competitive acts.

  • The anti-competitive conduct has had, is having or is likely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition (SPLC) in a relevant market.

Anti-competitive acts

Section 78 of the Competition Act lists nine anti-competitive acts that trigger the application of the provision. The Tribunal has ruled that this list is not exhaustive and that conduct not specifically mentioned in section 78 can constitute an anti-competitive act where:

  • The anti-competitive conduct is part of a "practice", meaning more than an isolated act. Individual anti-competitive acts taken together may constitute a practice, as can a continuing agreement.

  • The conduct is anti-competitive, that is, for an anti-competitive purpose which is "predatory, exclusionary or disciplinary". The Tribunal has found the following to have constituted "anti-competitive acts" for the purposes of section 79:

    • contracting practices (for example, requiring or inducing exclusivity; long-term contracts; evergreen provisions; meet-or-release; most-favoured nation);

    • intimidation through litigation;

    • acquisition of competitors;

    • lengthy non-compete clauses (where competitors acquired);

    • tied selling; and

    • targeted price reductions against competitors.

SPLC

The Commissioner of Competition must demonstrate that the anti-competitive conduct has had, is having or is likely to result in a SPLC in a relevant market. The Tribunal must consider whether the practice is a "result of superior competitive performance" since the intention is not to penalise a firm's effectiveness as a competitor if this is not a result of anti-competitive conduct.

The Commissioner must prove that the alleged anti-competitive conduct will "preserve or enhance the dominant firm's market power" (Canada (Director of Investigation and Research, Competition Act) v NutraSweet Co. (1990) 32 C.P.R. (3d) 1 (Comp. Trib.)). In deciding the issue, the Tribunal considers whether the relevant markets in the past, present or future would be substantially more competitive but for the impugned practice of anti-competitive acts. The assessment is a relative one; it is not the absolute level of competition in a market which must be substantial, but rather the preventing or lessening of competition that results from the impugned practice.

 

Exemptions and exclusions

19. Are there any exemptions or exclusions?

There are some exceptions to the application of section 79 of the Competition Act:

  • Conduct in pursuit of the exercise or enjoyment of an intellectual or industrial property right under specific statutes (for example, the Copyright Act, Patent Act and Trade-marks Act).

  • Where proceedings have been commenced or an order is being sought relating to the same conduct under other provisions of the Competition Act.

 

Notification

20. Is it necessary (or, if not necessary, possible/advisable) to notify the conduct to obtain clearance or (formal or informal) guidance from the regulator? If so, what is the applicable procedure?

It is not necessary to notify the conduct to obtain clearance or guidance from the regulator. However, if a party wishes to obtain an advisory opinion from the Commissioner of Competition, it may do so (see Question 5).

 

Investigations

21. What (if any) procedural differences are there between investigations into monopolies and abuses of market power and investigations into restrictive agreements and practices?

Investigations by the Commissioner of Competition of abuses of market power follow the same procedure as investigations of restrictive agreements and practices.

Investigations are typically commenced following complaints made to the Competition Bureau. Where the Commissioner decides that conduct contravenes section 79 of the Competition Act, the Commissioner can seek to resolve the matter by obtaining voluntary compliance from the parties, through the negotiation and registration of a consent agreement with the Competition Tribunal.

Where the Commissioner is unable to reach a settlement, he can file an application with the Tribunal for an order to remedy the conduct.

The Bureau's investigation will become public when either:

  • The Commissioner uses formal investigative powers (for example, document production orders).

  • The matter is resolved through the registration of a consent agreement.

  • The matter is challenged before the Tribunal.

There is a limitation period. No application can be made in respect of anti-competitive acts more than three years after the practice has ceased.

 
22. What are the regulator's powers of investigation?
 

Penalties and enforcement

23. What are the penalties for abuse of market power and what orders can the regulator make?

A finding of an abuse of dominance by the Competition Tribunal can result in administrative penalties.

Order

The Tribunal can make an order prohibiting a party from continuing to engage in the anti-competitive conduct or where such an order would not be effective, it can direct the party to take certain specific actions (such as the divestiture of assets or shares).

Fines

The Tribunal can order administrative monetary penalties of no more than Can$10 million for a first order and Can$15 million for subsequent orders against the same party.

 

Third party damages claims

24. Can third parties claim damages for losses suffered as a result of abuse of market power? If so, what special procedures or rules (if any) apply? Are collective/class actions possible?

Third party damages

Where a third party has suffered loss or damage as a result of an abuse of dominance, the party can launch a complaint with the Competition Bureau and ask that the Commissioner of Competition take action to stop the conduct (for example, by bringing an application before the Competition Tribunal). There is no third party right of action. The relief that the Tribunal can order is limited and does not include an order that damages be paid to the third party.

However, similar to the position of third parties in the context of restrictive agreements and practices, a third party may be able to claim damages under the limited circumstances allowed for by section 36 of the Competition Act (see Question 14, Third party damages).

Special procedures/rules

See Question 14, Special procedures/rules.

Collective/class actions

See Question 14, Collective/class actions.

 

EU law

25. Are there any differences between the powers of the national regulatory authority(ies) and courts in relation to cases dealt with under Article 101 and/or Article 102 of the TFEU, and those dealt with only under national law?

Not applicable.

 

Joint ventures

26. How are joint ventures analysed under competition law?

Joint ventures can be analysed under the merger provisions or section 90.1 of the Competition Act (see Question 1).

 

Inter-agency co-operation

27. Does the regulatory authority in your jurisdiction co-operate with regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions in relation to infringements of competition law? If so, what is the legal basis for and extent of co-operation (in particular, in relation to the exchange of information)?

Yes, the Competition Bureau can co-operate with foreign regulatory authorities through the sharing of information. Restraints of trade and dominance generally have a Canadian (not international) focus, and so co-operation with foreign regulatory authorities may not be necessary. Where information is shared, the Bureau seeks to maintain the confidentiality of the information through either formal international instruments or assurances from the foreign authority regarding its protection, and also requires that the information be used solely for the specific purpose for which it was provided.

 

Recent cases

28. What are the recent developments, trends or notable recent cases concerning abuse of market power?

There are two notable recent cases considering the Competition Act's abuse of dominance provisions.

The first is notable because it broadened the scope of the application of the abuse of dominance provisions (The Commissioner of Competition v. The Toronto Real Estate Board, 2013 Comp. Trib. 9 (CT-2011-0032013), rev'd 2014 FCA 29, leave to appeal to SCC refused, 35799 (July 24, 2014)). Specifically, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) found that the Tribunal (at first instance) had erred in narrowly interpreting the provisions by requiring the practice of anti-competitive acts to be directed at one's competitor and found that the provisions captured persons who did not compete directly in the market and conduct that was not directed at one's competitor (a finding which differed from earlier jurisprudence).

The case was sent back to the Tribunal for reconsideration on its merits. An application for leave to appeal the FCA's decision was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Canada in July 2014.

The second case is notable because the Tribunal was asked to consider whether the Commissioner could continue its case against a party that had sold its business and was no longer active in the industry (The Commissioner of Competition v. Direct Energy Marketing Limited, 2015 Comp. Trib. 2 (CT-2012-003)).

The Commissioner sought to continue its case against Direct Energy Marketing Limited (Direct Energy), seeking an administrative monetary penalty of Can$15 million and an order prohibiting Direct Energy from engaging in alleged anti-competitive conduct in the future, even though the company had not been active in the industry for several months (having sold its business following the commencement of the Commissioner's application and having entered into a non-competition and non-solicitation agreement with the purchaser, which precluded it from re-entering the business for eight years). In March 2015, the Tribunal ruled that the Commissioner could proceed with its case against Direct Energy, notwithstanding the fact that it had exited the market.

 

Proposals for reform

29. Are there any proposals for reform concerning restrictive agreements and market dominance?

Significant amendments were made to the Competition Act in 2009. The authors are not aware of any current proposals for reform.

 

Online resources

Competition Bureau

W www.competitionbureau.gc.ca

Description. Website of the Competition Bureau which includes Bureau guidelines, information bulletins, position statements relating to completed mergers and other background information.

Competition Tribunal

W www.ct-tc.gc.ca

Description. Website of the Competition Tribunal which includes publicly available materials filed with the Tribunal such as applications, motions, background materials and orders of the Tribunal, including consent agreements.

Department of Justice

W www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca

Description. An online source of the consolidated Acts and regulations of Canada maintained by the federal Department of Justice. Information on the website is generally updated on a weekly basis.

Canadian Legal Information Institute

W www.canlii.org

Description. A free public database providing access to Canadian legislation and decisions of Canadian courts and tribunals.



The regulatory authorities

Competition Bureau

Head. John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition

Contact details. 50 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Québec
K1A 0C9, Canada
T +1 800 348 5358 or +1 819 997 4282
F +1 819 997 0324
W www.competitionbureau.gc.ca

Outline structure. The Bureau is headed by the Commissioner of Competition. In addition to the Commissioner, the Bureau is organized into the following four branches:

  • Mergers and Monopolistic Practice Branch.

  • Cartels and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch.

  • Competition Promotion Branch.

  • Corporate Services Branch.

Legal support is provided to the Bureau by:

  • Competition Bureau Legal Services (Department of Justice). Responsible for providing legal services to the Commissioner and for representing the Commissioner on all matters other than those for which the Public Prosecution Service of Canada is responsible.
  • Competition Law Section of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC). Responsible for initiating and conducting criminal prosecutions on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada and for advising the Bureau on criminal investigations.

Responsibilities. The Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the:

  • Competition Act.
  • Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.
  • Textile Labelling Act.
  • Precious Metals Marking Act.

Procedure for obtaining documents. Bureau materials including guidelines, bulletins and press releases are publicly available on the Bureau's website.

Competition Tribunal

Chairman. Mr Justice Denis Gascon of the Federal Court

Contact details. Thomas D'Arcy McGee Building
90 Sparks Street, Suite 600
Ottawa, ONK1P 5B4, Canada
T +1 613 957 3172
F +1 613 957 3170
E tribunal@ct-tc.gc.ca
W www.ct-tc.gc.ca

Outline structure. The Tribunal is composed of up to six judicial members appointed from among the judges of the Federal Court and not more than eight lay members. The Governor in Council appoints judicial members from the Federal Court on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice. Lay members are appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry. They provide expertise based on their individual backgrounds in economics, business, accounting, marketing and other relevant fields.

The members are appointed for fixed terms of up to seven years and may be re-appointed. One of the judicial members is appointed Chairman of the Tribunal by the Governor in Council.

Responsibilities. The Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and dispose of all applications made under parts VII.1 and VIII of the Competition Act and any related matters. It also hears references filed pursuant to section 124.2 of the Competition Act.

Procedure for obtaining documents. Most documents are freely available on the Tribunal's website at www.ct-tc.gc.ca. Paper copies of documents may be obtained by contacting the Registry (T +1 613 957 3172).



Contributor profiles

Robert E Kwinter

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

T +1 416 863 3283
F +1 416 863 2653
E robert.kwinter@blakes.com
W www.blakes.com

Professional qualifications. Admitted to the Ontario Bar, Barrister and Solicitor

Areas of practice. Competition and anti-trust; competition litigation; class actions; foreign investment.

Evangelia L Kriaris

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

T +1 416 863 3891
F +1 416 863 2653
E litsa.kriaris@blakes.com
W www.blakes.com

Professional qualifications. Admitted to the Ontario Bar, Barrister and Solicitor

Areas of practice. Competition and anti-trust; competition litigation; class actions; foreign investment.

Kevin H MacDonald

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

T +1 416 863 4023
F +1 416 863 2653
E kevin.macdonald@blakes.com
W www.blakes.com

Professional qualifications. Admitted to the Ontario Bar, Barrister and Solicitor

Areas of practice. Competition and anti-trust; competition litigation; foreign investment.


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