Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on Competition,
Antitrust & Foreign Investment, September 2010
Strategic mergers in Canada may soon face new rules when under
review by the Competition Bureau. The Bureau recently announced
that it is considering revisions to Canada's Merger
Enforcement Guidelines (MEGs). Merger enforcement guidelines
are an important source of guidance in getting mergers completed
where they are likely to raise competition issues.
The Bureau plans to hold a series of roundtables to explore the
merits of revising the MEGs. The roundtables will consider whether
the MEGs reflect current Bureau practice and whether changes to the
MEGs are warranted in light of evolving views on how to assess the
competitive effects of mergers, as reflected in the newly revised
U.S. merger enforcement guidelines, and in light of the evolution
of the dynamic changes to both Canadian industries and the
analytical approach taken to assess mergers between
One issue that undoubtedly will arise in consultations is the
degree to which Canada should harmonize its MEGs with the U.S.
guidelines. While harmonization may facilitate consistent Canadian
and U.S. reviews in cross-border cases, it will be important for
changes to appropriately reflect important statutory and economic
differences in Canadian merger review, including the use of the
uniquely Canadian efficiencies defence to anticompetitive
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