Competition Bureau Outlines International Merger Priorities and Tribunal Clarifies Third-Party Challenge Rights
September 12, 2014
- Collaboration with U.S. Agencies: Earlier this year, the Competition Bureau and the U.S. antitrust agencies issued a set of “Best Practices” for cooperation between them in merger investigations. Senior Deputy Commissioner Campbell’s speech emphasized the enforcement successes that this cooperation has delivered already, including coordinated efforts to review a merger that the parties ultimately abandoned following concerns raised by both the Bureau and the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Engaging Other Agencies: For several years the Bureau has been heavily involved in promoting international cooperation with agencies in countries with emerging economies. Senior Deputy Commissioner Campbell noted new efforts the Bureau is making in this regard, including engagement with Chinese agencies to facilitate merger reviews involving state-owned enterprises and upcoming engagement between the Bureau and the Competition Commission of India.
- Upcoming Bureau Innovation Workshop: The Bureau is increasing its focus on the role of innovation in competition, including a review of its Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines. Senior Deputy Commissioner Campbell announced that the Bureau would host a workshop to discuss the role of innovation in antitrust on November 4, 2014 in Ottawa.
More insight into these topics will likely emerge next week as Senior Deputy Commissioner Campbell participates on a panel discussing agency coordination in global mergers at the Fall Competition Law Conference of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Competition Law Section. Brian Facey, Chair of the Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment group, will moderate that panel.
- Whether the terms of a consent agreement are within the scope of the type of order that the Tribunal is permitted to issue
- Whether a consent agreement identifies (a) each of the substantive elements of the civil provision in question and (b) contains (i) an agreement that each element has been met or (ii) a statement that the Commissioner has concluded that each element has been met and that the investigated party does not contest the conclusion. The Tribunal held that withholding such information “would potentially undermine public confidence in the administration and enforcement of the Act.”
- Whether the terms of the consent agreement are unenforceable or would lead to no enforceable obligation, for example, because they are too vague
The Tribunal held that “it is not open to [a third-party] applicant . . . to attempt to establish that one or more of the substantive elements of a [civil provision of the Act] have not in fact been met, or that a defence or exception set forth in the Act is applicable.”
Posted in: Competition & Antitrust
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