Competition Bureau enhances information-gathering efforts on non-notifiable mergers

From: Competition Bureau Canada

September 17, 2019 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau recently expanded the role of its Merger Notification Unit, now referred to as the Merger Intelligence and Notification Unit (MINU), to include a broader focus on active intelligence gathering on non-notifiable merger transactions that may raise competition concerns.

The notification provisions of the Competition Act facilitate the detection of most potentially anti-competitive transactions. MINU’s enhanced intelligence gathering activities aim to identify transactions that are otherwise not brought to the Bureau’s attention. This intelligence gathering approach will improve the Bureau’s ability to foster a competitive and innovative marketplace.

Mergers of all sizes and in all sectors of the economy are subject to review by the Bureau to determine whether they are likely to raise significant competition concerns. However, the Act only requires merging parties of proposed mergers that meet certain financial thresholds to notify the Bureau. Under section 97 of the Act, the Bureau may examine a merger up to one year following its completion. Where it is determined that a merger is likely to substantially lessen or prevent competition, the Bureau may apply to the Competition Tribunal to challenge the transaction or negotiate remedies with the merging parties to consensually resolve the competition concerns.

The Bureau encourages parties to non-notifiable transactions that may raise competition concerns to voluntarily engage with the MINU prior to closing, preferably at an early stage.

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