Canada: The 2014 Canadian Competition And Foreign Investment Law Year In Review

Last Updated: March 2 2015
Article by Jonathan Bitran, Oliver J. Borgers, Donald B. Houston, Madeleine Renaud, Michele Siu and Dominic Thérien

Most Read Contributor in Canada, September 2018

The 2014 Year in Review is a summary of the major developments in Canadian competition and foreign investment law last year. We also look ahead to 2015 and consider how the events of 2014 may impact business activity this year.

A Year of Firsts

2014 was a year of firsts and historic decisions across the competition law landscape. In the Tervita merger case, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first decision on the "prevention" of competition test and provided guidance on the efficiencies defence. Class actions alleging an international price-fixing conspiracy of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) were settled for $80 million, representing the second largest recovery in Canadian competition class action history. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that wiretap evidence from a criminal price-fixing investigation must be disclosed to class action plaintiffs. Breaking new ground, a U.S. court ordered a company located in the U.S. to disclose information to assist the Canadian Competition Bureau in a misleading advertising case in Canada. For the first time, a Canadian was extradited to the United States to face criminal antitrust charges. In another first, an individual was sentenced to 15 months in jail for breaching a consent agreement (an agreement that is entered into with the Bureau to resolve the Bureau's concerns). Impacting pharmaceuticals, the Bureau issued its preliminary views on how Canadian competition law could apply to pharmaceutical patent litigation settlements.

These, and other top stories, are covered in more detail in this 2014 Year in Review

Cartel Enforcement

Cartel enforcement continues to be a top priority for the Competition Bureau. Numerous guilty pleas, fines and charges for bid-rigging and price-fixing were secured in 2014 — including the continuation of the Bureau's enforcement actions in the auto parts industry, which is the Bureau's largest bid-rigging investigation to date. Also, a number of important decisions were released in 2014. For detailed discussion see full version (PDF).

Mergers (Competition Act)

We cover the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Tervita Corporation et al v. Commissioner of Competition, as well as emerging trends in merger review from 2014 which are expected to continue into 2015. Behavioural remedies and the review of non-notifiable transactions were just some of the stories last year which highlight regulatory risk under the Competition Act. These and other events in 2014 underscore the benefits of concluding early competition analysis in appropriate circumstances. Furthermore, the Bureau's efforts to deepen and expand collaboration and cooperation with antitrust regulatory agencies around the world will continue to shape merger review for multinational companies into 2015. For detailed discussion see full version (PDF).

Mergers (Investment Canada Act — Foreign Investment Review)

The Canadian government has been steadily increasing its focus on national security and rejecting mergers due to national security concerns. This has been a concern for foreign investors (especially state-owned enterprises) and Canadian businesses, especially in light of the dearth of guidance with respect to the types of transactions that are likely to be prone to national security attention. However, this may change with new amendments to the Investment Canada Act that allow for the public dissemination of information relating to national security reviews. For detailed discussion see full version (PDF) .

Abuse of Dominance

In 2014, the Competition Bureau continued to pursue abuse of dominance investigations and litigation. The Competition Tribunal's redetermination of the Bureau's application against the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), expected in 2015, may redefine the scope of abuse of dominance, making an already nebulous area of the law potentially more uncertain. For detailed discussion see full version (PDF).

Pricing Practices

A story which garnered a significant amount of attention in 2014 was the introduction of the Canadian government's Price Transparency Act to target "unjustified" cross-border price discrimination. Under the proposed legislation, the Competition Bureau will be empowered to investigate and "expose" gaps between U.S. and Canadian selling prices. Although, the proposed law is not intended to set or regulate prices in Canada (nor does it provide for penalties or other remedies), should it become law, targeted companies will be exposed to the time and expense of responding to the Commissioner of Competition's investigation and will have to contend with reputational risk associated with the Commissioner's inquiry and public report. For detailed discussion see full version (PDF).

Misleading Advertising

In 2014, companies and individuals that were found to have contravened the false or misleading representations provisions of the Competition Act were ordered to pay significant administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) and an individual was sentenced to prison for his role in deceptive telemarketing. Also, new amendments to the Competition Act (introduced under Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation or CASL) which contain serious consequences for false or misleading electronic messages came into force last year. Significantly, the Chatr/Rogers decision was released in 2014 and it provides guidance on determinations of AMPs. For detailed discussion see full version (PDF).

Other Developments

Changes to the Competition Act have been proposed which would expand the Commissioner's investigative powers to compel information from persons outside of Canada. New rules will come into force in 2015 with respect to data preservation and production orders against third parties which will provide the Bureau with an additional investigatory tool. For detailed discussion see full version (PDF).

Read the full version(PDF)

To view original article, please click here.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions