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.
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.
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.
Umbrella purchasers: Who are they, what do they want, and why are Courts (sometimes) certifying their claims?
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.
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.
Waiting forever for the axe to drop? Discoverability and the limitation period for Competition Act claims
The limitation period for claims under s. 36 of the Competition Act is a longstanding question of Canadian competition law. The plain language of the statute suggests that such claims must be brought within two years of the anticompetitive conduct. But in Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology v AU Optronics Corporation, the Ontario Court of Appeal has reached a conclusion that is much more generous to Plaintiffs, holding that such claims must be brought within two years of the Plaintiff discovering the anticompetitive conduct.
Supreme Court Offers Guidance on Standard of Review and Efficiency Defence Under the Competition Act
The Supreme Court in Tervita Corp. v. Canada (Commissioner of Competition) held that a merger between landfill operators would prevent competition but provide efficiency gains, and allowed the deal to proceed. In so doing, it has provided important guidance three issues: