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Antitrust and competition

Our antitrust and competition lawyers in Canada advise Canadian and international clients on all aspects of competition and antitrust law, including competition litigation, foreign investment reviews, and related regulatory work. 

We are delighted with the advice we receive from the firm in this area. Chambers Global 2015

With lawyers drawn from our business law and litigation groups, and located in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary, we are one of the few truly national competition practices in Canada able to meet our clients’ needs across the country in both English and French.

Clients rely on our competition and antitrust lawyers for the following reasons:

  • Full range of support – We advise on merger reviews, joint venture and strategic alliances, cartel and bid-rigging investigations, monopoly and abuse of dominance, pricing practices, licensing and distribution, misleading advertising, marketing and promotional content review, intellectual property issues, restrictive trade practices, foreign investment reviews for net benefit and national security, as well as the development of compliance programs. We assist clients in all aspects of antitrust investigations, from responding to voluntary or court-ordered information requests, to appearing on-site to oversee a dawn raid and then dealing with the ensuing internal investigations, immunity or leniency negotiations, settlement or prosecution, debarment issues and potential class actions. Our lawyers have litigated competition cases before the Competition Tribunal and provincial and federal trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • Understanding our clients – Our lawyers represent clients in many different industries, including agricultural products, book publishing and sales, building products, consumer goods, electronic products and services, energy, engineering and constructions services, financial services, food products and services, grocery products, home hardware, media and entertainment, mining, newspapers and magazines, oil and gas, pharmaceutical products, pulp and paper, real estate, specialty chemicals, telecommunications equipment and systems, and vitamins and supplements.
  • Experience with complex and novel cases – We have a strong track record of working on cases that raise novel issues or present complex challenges. Clients can rely on us for sound, practical guidance to help them achieve their objectives in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Global presence – Our Canadian antitrust and competition team is part of a global team with members experienced in the antitrust and competition laws of the United States, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Rankings and accolades

  • Chambers Global (2013-2015): Competition/Antitrust
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2012-2014): Recommended for Competition Law (Quebec - Montréal)
  • Global Competition Review (2015): Top 20 Global Elite Competition Practice

Select client work

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures (Competition Act)

  • Crescent Point Energy Corp. in connection with various acquisitions, including CanEra Energy Corp. (C$766m), Wild Stream Exploration Inc. (C$61m), PetroBakken Energy Ltd. (asset purchase, C$427m), and Lightstream Resources Ltd. (asset purchase, C$378m).
  • Quebecor Media Inc. in the C$316m acquisition of its English-language newspapers by Postmedia Network Canada Corp. and in the acquisition of 15 magazines (in their paper format and associated digital versions), three other websites and custom publishing assets of Transcontinental Inc.
  • SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. in the acquisition of the assets of the CANDU Business of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, in the sale of its Altalink business to Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company for C$3.2b, and its acquisition of Kentz Corporation Limited for C$2.1bn, which involved coordinating merger filings in several jurisdictions (the UK, US, South Africa and South America).

Acquisitions of control (Investment Canada Act)

  • Talisman Energy Inc. in its US$13b sale to Repsol S.A.
  • Cirque du Soleil in its proposed sale to an investor group led by TPG.
  • Various non-Canadian companies in the analysis of potential national security issues under Part IV.1 of the Investment Canada Act.

Cartel and criminal investigations

  • Citibank Canada and the Citibank Group on their response to a court order for the production of documents in relation to a price-fixing investigation regarding interest rate derivatives.
  • Various Japan-based companies in the Competition Bureau’s investigation of alleged conspiracy and bid-rigging in the supply and sale of certain motor vehicle components, including the preparation and negotiation of leniency applications.
  • Various Quebec-based companies in the Competition Bureau’s investigations of alleged conspiracy and bid-rigging in the supply and sale of various construction and infrastructure related products and services, such as highway lighting, HVAC, engineering services, and paving services.

Civil litigation and class actions

  • Archer Daniels Midland Inc. in three separate national class actions in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec based on alleged price-fixing conspiracies in respect of citric acid, lysine, and monosodium glutamate (MSG), as well as in class actions in Ontario and British Columbia based on alleged price-fixing in the high fructose corn syrup market, including before the Supreme Court of Canada in the ground-breaking “indirect purchaser” trilogy of cases.
  • Sharp Corporation in the defence of a prosecution following a Competition Bureau investigation and in six proposed class actions in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia based on alleged price-fixing in respect of SRAM and LCD panels.
  • National Bank of Canada in national class actions in British Columbia and in Ontario relating to credit card fees charged to merchants.

Abuse of dominance and civil investigations

  • Porter Airlines Inc. in instigating a Competition Bureau investigation under the abuse of dominance provisions in the air transport business.
  • Avis Budget Group Inc. and certain of its affiliates in the defence of a misleading advertising proceeding commenced by the Commissioner of Competition before the Competition Tribunal.
  • Westco Group Inc. in its successful defence to an application before the Competition Tribunal for an alleged refusal to deal, one of the most significant Competition Tribunal cases since 2008, and in the ensuing appeals before the Federal Court of Appeal.