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  • Given the expansive discovery rights available under US law, plaintiffs may be tempted to try to use those rights in pursuit of proceedings under Canadian law. In its recent decision in Mancinelli v RBC, the Divisional Court placed an important limit on the ability of parties to do so. The Divisional Court upheld an order requiring plaintiffs in a proposed class action to obtain Court approval before taking any steps in furtherance of a subpoena issued by an American court.

    April 27, 2018
  • The intersection of intellectual property law and competition law is an area that gains greater significance with each passing year. Much of the focus in this area recently has been on the appropriate scope of action to take by regulators. For example, in Canada, the Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines promulgated by the Competition Bureau in 2016 have attracted significant attention.

    April 3, 2018
  • It says something about Canada that many famous cases throughout Canadian legal history relate to the regulation of alcohol.  Through the early 20th century, the regulation of alcohol was a fertile domain for disputes about Canadian federalism.  Now, in the 21st century, the complicated regulatory scheme of governing alcohol sales in Ontario is once again making new law.  This time, however, the dispute is not over arcane principles of federalism, but rather over the scope of the regulated conduct defence to conspiracies under the Competition Act.  While early 20th century federalism cases may be of interest to only a select few, the decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Hughes v Liquor Control Board of Ontario is likely to attract significantly broader interest, particularly among companies operating in regulated industries.

    March 22, 2018
  • The Competition Bureau relies heavily on voluntary cooperation from corporate Canada in order to enforce the Competition Act. Companies typically want assurances of confidentiality in order to cooperate with the Bureau. In recognition of the fact that companies are less likely to cooperate with the Competition Bureau if commercially sensitive information might be disclosed to third parties, the Competition Act provides a number of confidentiality protections for information acquired by the Bureau from third parties.

    February 6, 2018
  • The recent admissions by supermarket chain Loblaws and a related group of companies that they engaged in conduct to fix the retail price of bread products have drawn significant public attention to price-fixing. And Loblaws’ response to those revelations of price-fixing—including giving consumers gift cards to be used at Loblaws—has also attracted significant interest, not just from the public, but also from businesses and the antitrust and class actions bar. For organizations that have engaged in misconduct looking to make a public response, Loblaws’ actions highlight both the potential benefits and risks of such voluntary remediation.

    January 12, 2018
  • Under Canadian law, many provisions of the Competition Act can only be enforced by the Commissioner of Competition, and not by private parties. That has led to a dearth of jurisprudence, and certainty, regarding the interpretation of several provisions of the Competition Act. For that reason, both major businesses and industry groups will want to take careful note of the recent decision in Toronto Real Estate Board v Commissioner of Competition, where the Federal Court of Appeal gave further guidance as to when a party will be liable for abuse of dominance.

    December 8, 2017
  • Class actions are almost invariably complicated and expensive matters for businesses to deal with. Such class actions only become more complicated and expensive the bigger the classes are. Now, in Airia Brands Inc v Air Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal has given the green light to a class action that includes class members all around the world. This decision has significant implications for virtually all multinational businesses.

    October 19, 2017
  • A recurring source of challenging legal problems in the price-fixing class actions, and in class actions more generally, is the issue of what information and evidence the Courts can compel government investigators to provide to private litigants for use in those class actions.

    September 29, 2017
  • While competition law specialists are familiar with the ongoing debate about umbrella purchaser claims, most Canadian lawyers could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about umbrellas. Far from being individuals who rejected raincoats or ponchos in favour of a more traditional option, umbrella purchasers are now at the center of a heated debate in Canadian competition law.

    August 23, 2017
  • Using rules of thumb to generate estimates can be very useful in a variety of circumstances: for example, when the detailed information necessary to generate a precise answer is unavailable, or when it’s too difficult to analyze that detailed information.  Lawyers use such rules of thumb in a number of circumstances, sometimes as an initial rough estimate, and sometimes to confirm the results of more detailed analysis.

    January 12, 2017

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