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Canadians Consider Changes In Merger Review Practices

Posted  September 15, 2010

The Canadian Competition Bureau has announced that it will consider possible revisions to the Canadian merger enforcement guidelines.

The Bureau will hold a series of discussions on whether its merger enforcement guidelines issued in 2004 are a good reflection of current Canadian merger review practices.  The purpose of such guidelines is to evaluate the potential competitive effect of mergers.

The decision comes in the wake of the recent publication of the revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines issued in the United States, as well as recent theoretical advances in the antitrust and economics fields in analyzing mergers.  Moreover, Canada recently revised its competition law in March 2009 and changed its merger notification process so that it bore more resemblance to that of the United States.  For instance, before the passage of the Canadian antitrust overhaul last year, the country’s competition statute required companies to wait 42 days, followed by a three-year post-merger period during which the government could challenge the merger.  The new law will require a 30-day waiting period during which the government can temporarily stop the deal to ask for more information about it, followed by another 30-day waiting period.  The government can only review closed deals for one year.

However, Canada’s merger enforcement guidelines have not yet been formally changed.  Paul Collins, Canada’s Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition for the Mergers Branch, will coordinate the discussions.  Information will be provided at a later date regarding the times and locations of the consultations.

Tagged in: International Competition Issues,