On May 10, 2013, the senior deputy commissioner at the Mergers
Branch of the Competition Bureau (the Bureau) announced that the
Bureau is changing its information requirements for merger
transactions involving the upstream sector of the Canadian oil and
Effective immediately, the Bureau will no longer require
detailed information, including operator and user contact
information, in respect of field facilities such as batteries,
compressor stations or proprietary gathering systems when it
reviews merger transactions that involve only the upstream oil and
gas sector. Such information will, however, continue to be required
for mergers involving gas plants, midstream or downstream oil and
The Bureau's new approach is being implemented as a result
of a comprehensive internal review of its approach, in consultation
with industry experts and experienced lawyers in this area, in
response to industry and Canadian competition lawyer concerns
relating to the amount of information required for upstream oil and
gas merger reviews. In recent years, more detailed submissions and
information regarding field facilities had been required in
applications for approval under the Competition Act.
As a result of the Bureau's new approach, the
Competition Act approval process in upstream merger
transactions should become simpler and more efficient, with respect
to both the preparation of the required Competition Act
filings and the Bureau's review of such filings. This should
facilitate the planning of merger transactions in the upstream oil
and gas industry, and make the timing of the Competition
Act approval process for such transactions more
1 Announcement made by Kelley McKinnon at the
Competition Bureau/Canadian Bar Association Competition Law
Section's annual Mergers Roundtable.
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For forty years, Canada has had a "refusal to deal" law which allows the Competition Tribunal to order firms to accept, or prevent them from cutting-off supply to customers for their products in certain circumstances.
Documents and information that the Competition Bureau collects from third parties during its investigations are protected by public interest privilege from disclosure to plaintiffs in private actions, the BC Supreme Court has ruled.