Since 2012, WeirFoulds LLP has been monitoring and writing about
the Competition Bureau's increased focus on Canada's
construction industry.1 The Bureau's intensified
scrutiny of construction companies has been spurred along in part
due to the Charbonneau Inquiry in Quebec and resulting
criminal charges. Recent high-profile government procurement cases
have also heightened awareness about competition issues in bidding
and tendering. Internationally, issues regarding construction and
procurement have been front and centre in competition
authorities' investigations. Canada is no exception, with the
Commissioner of Competition having publicly stated that he will
continue to focus on the construction industry because it is
"particularly susceptible to cartel activity".
The Competition Bureau's main focus is the prevention and
prosecution of bid-rigging and price-fixing. To that end, the
Bureau recently published materials on its website to help educate
the construction industry on how to avoid attracting the
Bureau's attention, and how to respond when illegal activity
The online material emphasizes the need for companies to obtain
legal advice from competition law experts to stay onside the
Competition Act and to deal proactively with any illegal
activity that may have already occurred. The Competition Bureau has
emphasized repeatedly the need for those involved in the
construction industry or trade associations to develop and
implement compliance programs. Now is the time for your company to
proactively address these issues. These programs not only educate
employees and management about how to ensure that business
practices comply with the Competition Act, but can also
act as mitigating factors should a company face charges.
As a leading firm in both construction and competition law,
WeirFoulds is well-positioned to assist construction industry
participants with the implementation of Competition Act
compliance programs. The firm is also equipped to defend companies
charged under the Competition Act, assist with
immunity/leniency program applications, and defend
"follow-on" civil suits.
The Commissioner of Competition addressed innovation, enforcement and policy initiatives at the Competition Bureau in his keynote speech, "Strengthening Competition: Innovation, Collaboration and Transparency."
Used car listing website operator CarGurus Inc.'s attempt to force rival Trader Corporation to supply it with vehicle listing data has encountered a dead end as the Competition Tribunal denied it leave to commence a private application under several provisions of the Competition Act.
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).