In 2021, the competition and foreign investment law landscape in Canada underwent significant developments that could have major implications for businesses moving forward. For the first time in many years, there are signs that a substantive debate on reform of the Competition Act may be generating momentum, while the Competition Bureau (the "Bureau") continued to focus on enforcement in the digital economy, which is only expected to intensify moving forward as the Bureau receives greater financial resources in the coming years. While the absolute number of mergers notified to the Bureau has remained fairly consistent with last year, the Bureau is taking an increasingly tough stance on problematic mergers, and transacting parties need to be prepared for a more litigation-ready Bureau in 2022 and beyond. Allied to this, the codification of changes to the government's Guidelines on National Security Review of Investments has continued to bring high levels of scrutiny under the Investment Canada Act as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, particularly in sensitive sectors and for state-owned enterprises.
Find out how these developments might affect business decisions in the year ahead in our Competition/Antitrust & Foreign Investment Outlook 2022. Our Competition/Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group covers key trends and developments in Canada in 2021 and reflects on their significance for 2022 and beyond, providing comprehensive insights on the following topics and more:
- Potential Competition Act reform and what it could mean for your business
- Merger review: Hardening of the Bureau's enforcement stance
- Investment Canada Act: National security review expands further
- Cartel activity, including recent enforcement trends and the treatment of buy-side agreements
- Competition class actions: Bumps in the road for plaintiffs
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.