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Canadians Release New Merger Guidelines

Posted  October 17, 2011

Canada’s Competition Bureau has released final revisions to its Merger Enforcement Guidelines.

The Guidelines describe how the Competition Bureau will analyze merger transactions.

The new Guidelines were issued on October 6, 2011, after the Bureau held consultations during the last two years with foreign competition agencies and throughout Canada.  The changes are the first revisions to the Guidelines since 2004.

The Guidelines were changed after the United States revised its Horizontal Merger Guidelines in 2010.  As we reported in an earlier post, the U.S. revisions offered a more tolerant approach for analyzing mergers by downplaying the role of market definition and by emphasizing the need to avoid interference with competitively beneficial mergers.

Some of the Canadian revisions follow the U.S. approach by having less of an emphasis on market definition and by looking more at the competitive effects of a merger.  Other features of the new Guidelines include discussing how a merger is defined under the Competition Act, providing for greater scrutiny of vertical mergers, and giving an update to the merger “efficiencies defence.”

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, International Competition Issues,