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Canada’s competition laws on the verge of extensive overhauling!


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Canada’s competition laws on the verge of extensive overhauling!

Canada appears to be on the verge of implementing “generational” changes to its antitrust/competition laws. While they have not been finalized yet, the changes proposed have the potential to significantly impact businesses across the economy, and to impose standards that meaningfully differ from those that apply in other countries.

Following the release of the government’s Fall Economic Statement promising major changes to the Competition Act (Act), the changes were introduced in Parliament on November 27, 2023. These supplemented other changes to the Act that were already proposed and working their way through Parliament in Bill C-56, which is being studied by a parliamentary committee. The parliamentary committee then introduced further significant amendments on November 30, 2023.


Getting to know how does this work!

Businesses operating in — or considering entering — Canada need to be aware of a number of significant changes that will result when these amendments, which are almost certain to become law, take effect.


Some of the most consequential are likely to be:

For the first time, private parties will be able to bring proceedings before the Competition Tribunal seeking civil monetary recovery for non-criminal conduct such as abuse of dominance (similar to monopolization), refusal to deal, tied selling, competitor collaborations falling outside criminal conspiracy, and non-criminal deceptive marketing. Additionally, it will be easier for private parties to obtain “leave” to bring such proceedings.

In total, the amendments hand the Competition Bureau substantially everything it has been seeking to strengthen enforcement powers and penalties under the Act.

More mergers will be subject to notification and require approval, and the Bureau will benefit from a lower bar to challenge transactions, including challenges to closed deals.

Private actions will increase because the current “leave” standard to start a proceeding will be lowered and more provisions in the Act will be open to private enforcement, including the deceptive marketing and anti-competitive agreements provisions.

There will be increased penalties and wider ranges of sanction for contraventions of the Competition Act.

The changes will also introduce the possibility of exemptions for environmental protection arrangements, subject to stringent requirements

The changes are likely to result in significant additional regulatory uncertainty and increase the cost of doing business in Canada.



While every business will react to and be impacted by these changes differently, virtually every business will be affected. New risks and considerations will apply to existing business practices, and new opportunities may arise in certain sectors.


Proprietary blog of Karma Global

Collated and Compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, besides adaptation, illustration, derivation, transformation, collection and auto generation for its monthly newsletter Issue 20 of February 2024 and in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the Marketing Team – /

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