Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on
Competition Law May, 2008
On April 28, 2008, Bill C-454, An Act to amend the
Competition Act and to make consequential amendments to other
acts, received second reading in the House of Commons and
was referred to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and
Technology. The bill was introduced by Roger Gaudet, a member
of the Bloc Québécois and the Member of
Parliament for Montcalm, Québec, on June 7, 2007.
Significant aspects of the proposed amendments to the
Competition Act include the following:
The requirement that a conspiracy "unduly"
prevent or lessen competition would be removed, and a defence
would be added for agreements that are reasonably necessary
to attain gains in efficiency or encourage innovation. The
maximum fine under the conspiracy provision would be
increased from C$10-million to C$25-million.
Private litigants would be allowed to seek leave from the
Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal) to bring applications
under an expanded abuse of dominance provision of the
Competition Act. Currently, only the Commissioner is
empowered to enforce the provision. The Tribunal would be
empowered to impose administrative monetary penalties for
contraventions of the abuse of dominance provision of up to
C$10-million for an initial order and C$15-million for each
subsequent order, or up to the amount of gross revenues
earned by the corporation as a result of that individual or
corporation engaging in a practice of anti-competitive
The Tribunal would be empowered to award damages to
private litigants in cases involving the refusal to deal,
exclusive dealing, tie selling, market restriction, and abuse
of dominance provisions of the Competition Act.
Currently, the only remedy available to a successful litigant
is a prohibition order.
The Commissioner would be empowered to initiate inquiries
into, and use its broad investigative powers relating to,
entire industry sectors.
The price discrimination, predatory pricing, and
promotional allowances provisions of the Competition
Act would be repealed.
Maximum penalties available under the civil deceptive
marketing practices provisions of the Competition
Act would be significantly increased. In the case of an
individual, the penalty would be increased from C$50,000 to
C$750,000 for an initial order and from C$100,000 to
C$1-million for each subsequent order. In the case of a
corporation, the penalty would be increased from C$100,000 to
C$10-million for an initial order and from C$200,000 to
C$15-million for each subsequent order. The Court would also
be empowered, in its discretion, to impose an administrative
monetary penalty exceeding these statutory maximums, but not
exceeding the gross revenues earned by the individual or
corporation as a result of the deceptive marketing.
Also under the civil deceptive marketing practices
provisions of the Competition Act, the Court would
be empowered to order that the impugned individual or
corporation pay restitution to those customers who purchased
the products that were the object of the deceptive marketing
practice. The amount to be paid could not exceed the amount
originally paid by the customers for the products. Also,
restitution would be available only to end-users of the
products and, specifically, would not be available to those
individuals or companies that purchased the products for
resale or distribution.
Given that Bill C-454 was introduced as a Private
Member's Bill, it is far from certain whether it will
ultimately be passed into law especially given that the
Competition Policy Review Panel, established by the federal
government in July 2007, has been tasked with reviewing key
provisions of the Competition Act and is scheduled to
report back to the government by June 30, 2008. However, Bill
C-454 provides an interesting glimpse into the types of
amendments to the Competition Act that at least some
Members of Parliament may like to see in the future.
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 Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Please join members of the Blakes Commercial Real Estate group as they discuss five key provisions of a commercial real estate purchase agreement that are often the subject of much negotiation but are sometimes misunderstood.
Emotional culture is influenced in great part by the mindset and actions of leadership, although employees also play more of a role than they may realize in creating the culture that exists in the group.
The session will be led by Dr. Robert Brooks, an award-winning author and psychologist. In his presentation, Dr. Brooks will describe the mindset and realistic practices of leaders and staff that help to nurture and sustain a culture characterized by positive emotions, satisfying, respectful relationships, a sense of meaning and ownership for one’s work, and enhanced job performance. Examples will be offered to illustrate strategies for developing a positive emotional culture in an organization.
Join leading lawyers from the Blakes Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation group as they discuss recent updates and legal developments in pension and employee benefits law as well as strategies to identify and minimize common risks.
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).