Competition Law and Foreign Investment
Significant legal and strategic considerations arise in the context of large mergers and acquisitions. These include compliance with competition, antitrust and foreign investment rules in Canada.
Under the Competition Act, pre-merger notification of various types of transactions is required to be made to the Competition Bureau depending on the size of the parties and the size of the transaction. Even a transaction which does not require pre-merger notification may nevertheless raise competition law concerns due to the increase in market power resulting from the transaction.
Under the Investment Canada Act, a non-Canadian commencing a new business activity in Canada or acquiring control of an existing Canadian business is required to notify or seek the approval of Canadian governmental authorities. In particular instances, the non-Canadian must satisfy the “net benefit to Canada” test or concerns arising from transactions involving Canadian cultural businesses or national security.
We regularly represent buyers, sellers and other interested parties involved in domestic as well as cross-border and international transactions in relation to obtaining these regulatory approvals. Canadian and foreign companies as well as foreign law firms retain us to assist specifically with:
- the merger and the merger review process with the Competition Bureau;
- restrictive trade practices and agreements between competitors under the Competition Act; and
- the foreign investment review process.