On October 22, 2010, the Bureau issued guidance on its timelines
and procedures for merger review. Of particular note are the
Complexity designations for merger transactions have been
streamlined from three (non‐complex, complex and very
complex) to two (non‐complex and complex), with updated
criteria to make this classification. The significance of the
designation relates to the length of time by which the Bureau will
seek to complete its consideration of the substantive competition
concerns raised by a transaction. These timelines have also been
updated to align more closely, although not completely, with the
new statutory merger regime introduced in 2009.
Review of "non‐complex" transactions will
continue to take up to 14 days. However, "complex"
transactions (which now include what was "very complex"
in the past) will take up to 45 days, unless a supplemental
information request (a "SIR") has been issued, in which
case the review period will be 30 days from the date of compliance.
Previously, review of "complex" transactions could take
up to 10 weeks while "very complex" transaction
transactions could take up to 5 months.
The Bureau guidance does not change the statutory waiting
periods, following which merging parties are free to close their
transaction, subject to the possibility of an injunction.
Significantly, the Bureau now takes the position that any
notification filing or request for an Advance Ruling Certificate
that is received after 5:00 p.m. EST on a business day or on a
holiday will be treated as being filed on the next business day. In
the past, the Bureau accepted electronic filings made before
midnight by fax or by email as being filed on that business
For further information on the "Fees and Service Standard
Policy for Mergers and Merger‐Related Matters", the
"Fees and Service Standards Handbook for Mergers and
Merger‐Related Matters" and "Procedures Guide
for Notifiable Transactions and Advance Ruling Certificates under
the Competition Act", please visit the
Competition Bureau website at www.bccb.gc.c
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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