Minister Champagne Keeps Merger Threshold, Extends Consultation

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Pre-merger notification transaction-size threshold to remain at $93 million, while deadline to participate in competition consultation extended to March 31, 2023

A competitive economy is a fair, innovative and prosperous economy. That is why the Government of Canada remains committed to do everything it can to improve competition and affordability, and will use every tool available to ensure that the Canadian economy is strong, resilient and creates jobs and prosperity.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that he will maintain the transaction-size threshold for the advance notification of mergers under the Competition Act (the Act) for 2023 at $93 million. This is the second year in a row that the Minister has maintained the threshold. This will ensure that potentially harmful deals are fully scrutinized by the Competition Bureau. It also reflects the government’s ongoing commitment to see more competition in the marketplace through a robust enforcement framework.

In November 2022, the government launched the Competition Act review. Recognizing the significant interest from stakeholders across Canada, today, Minister Champagne also announced the extension of the deadline for Canadians to submit their comments to March 31, 2023.

In addition to providing $96 million to the Competition Bureau in Budget 2021 to enhance its enforcement capacity, the government made targeted improvements to the Act in June 2022 to strengthen the Competition Bureau’s powers, in order to protect Canadian consumers, workers, and small and medium businesses from anti-competitive and deceptive conduct. These amendments aligned the Act more closely with international best practices, notably through more proportionate maximum penalties and a broadened scope of anti-competitive conduct that the Competition Bureau may review.

Since then, the Competition Bureau has worked diligently to inform stakeholders of, and consult them on, the new provisions of the Act and it has invited interested parties to provide comments on its new guidelines addressing wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements before March 3, 2023.

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