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Merger Remedies in Canada


Area Mergers and Acquisitions, Competition, Antitrust and Foreign Investment


This paper was presented by Richard Annan at the Annual Competition Law Conference held by The Canadian Bar Association in Gatineau, Quebec on November 4, 2005

Excerpt from "Merger Remedies in Canada":

The merger provisions have been in place in Canada for nearly twenty years. Over that period, the Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) has pursued consensual remedial relief in some form in fifty two cases. The majority of cases went according to plan, in the sense that was sought was obtained. A number of cases had significant problems in the remedy phase and in a handful of cases what was sought to be divested was not divested and was returned to the merging parties. Lessons have been drawn from this body of experience as the Bureau over time has become progressively more conservative in seeking terms and conditions for remedial relief. This progression is further evidenced by the draft Information Bulletin on Merger Remedies (“Remedies Bulletin”) released by the Bureau on October 19, 2005.

The first part of this paper will provide an outline of the institutional framework for merger review in Canada. The second part will discuss the key features of the merger remedies process as it has evolved in the practice of the Bureau since 1986. The third part of this paper will discuss how the Remedies Bulletin compares with the norms established in the cases resolved by consent to date.

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