Proposed changes by Canada's Competition Bureau to the Competition Act have left some lawyers scratching their heads, and in some cases, labelling the recommendations "particularly concerning".

After a spate of court losses, the bureau has proposed more than 50 changes to the law, including "simplifying the test for abuse of dominance and removing its obligation to prove certain conduct was 'purposefully' anticompetitive", as reported by the Global Competition Review.

The announcement by the bureau also repeated its call to overhaul the merger notification and review regime. According to the publication, the bureau recommends a "presumption that a deal is anticompetitive when market shares exceed a certain unspecified threshold. This would require the merging parties to prove that the tie-up is not anticompetitive."

Co-chair of Torys' Competition and Foreign Investment Review practice Omar Wakil spoke with the Global Competition Review on the news, citing a "lack of balance" in the bureau's recommendations.

Omar said dispute only "a tiny number" of deals being problematic, the bureau's most significant proposed changes are around this merger control and review regime. Despite that, there has been no discussion about re-calibrating the authority's process to focus on transactions that are potentially problematic and relieve burdens on those that are not, he said.

You can read more about the firm's Competition and Foreign Investment Review work on the practice page.

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