Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on Competition,
Antitrust & Foreign Investment, March 2009
On March 17, 2009, the Competition Bureau announced that two
more individuals and one more company pleaded guilty to criminal
charges for conspiracy to fix the price of gasoline in
Victoriaville and Thetford Mines, Quebec. Charges against 13
individuals and 11 companies were laid in June 2008. Including
these guilty pleas, to date, the total fines imposed in the case
are over C$2.6-million, and of the five individuals who have
pleaded guilty, three have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment
totalling 32 months.
The possibility of criminal charges for conspiracy being laid is
expected to increase in the future. In this regard, the conspiracy
provisions of the Competition Act were amended on March
12, 2009, when Bill C-10 received royal assent, though the criminal
provisions do not come into force until 2010. Hardcore cartel
agreements between competitors (e.g., price fixing) are now per
se illegal – i.e., it will not be necessary for the
Crown to prove that the agreement prevented or lessened competition
unduly. Breach of the per se rules can lead to a prison
term not exceeding 14 years or a fine not exceeding C$25-million
and also exposes parties to civil liability for damages. Other
agreements between competitors that could lessen or prevent
competition substantially will be subject to investigation by the
Competition Bureau and civil review by the Competition Tribunal,
although no fines or private damages may be imposed.
Parties to agreements that were entered into before March 12,
2009, may, within one year, apply to the Commissioner of
Competition for an opinion as to whether the agreement contravenes
the amended conspiracy provisions of the Competition Act,
as these provisions do not come into force until March 12, 2010.
Companies are, therefore, advised to review their existing
commercial agreements with competitors (including joint venture
agreements, strategic alliances, and non-compete agreements) to
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).