Show all postsFiltered by: Chris Hersh

HBC Has to Sleep in the Bed it Made ... Commissioner Brings Misleading Advertising Application Over Mattress Promotions

The Commissioner of Competition (the Commissioner) filed a Notice of Application (the Application) against the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) in late February alleging that HBC engaged in deceptive marketing practices relating to its sale of sleep sets (mattresses and foundations) including representations regarding ordinary sales price (OSP). The Commissioner is seeking a variety of remedies including an order requiring HBC to pay an administrative penalty and issue corrective notices.

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Reliance on Supplier Price Information Cost Amazon $1 Million for Contravention of Ordinary Price Provisions

On January 11, 2017, Amazon.com.ca, Inc. entered into a consent agreement with the Commissioner of Competition following the Competition Bureau’s investigation into Amazon’s pricing representations. The consent agreement alleges that Amazon contravened the ordinary price provisions of the Competition Act and engaged in false and misleading representations contained in electronic messages. As part of the consent agreement, Amazon has agreed to pay an administrative monetary penalty of $1 million, as well as costs of $100,000.

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National Security Review Guidelines Highlight Amorphous Nature of “National Security”

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development has just released Guidelines on the National Security Review of Investments. The Guidelines are intended to provide information to foreign investors regarding both (i) the national security review process under the Investment Canada Act (the ICA) and (ii) the factors to be considered in determining whether an investment could raise national security issues. 

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Broken Telephone: Telco Ordered to Pay $300,000 for Misleading Advertising

In mid-September, Comwave Networks Inc. (Comwave) entered into a consent agreement with the Commissioner of Competition regarding allegations that it contravened the civil misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act (the Act). Under the consent agreement, Comwave is required to pay an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) of $300,000, and $60,000 towards the Bureau’s costs of the investigation. Additionally, Comwave has agreed to remove all problematic representations (across all media), issue a corrective notice to the public to its customers, and establish and implement a corporate compliance program. 

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“Below the Fold” is Below the Radar – Native Advertising Disclosure Must be Clear, Conspicuous & Unavoidable

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc. (Warner) and issued a proposed 20 year consent order in connection with allegations that Warner’s 2014 influencer campaign constituted deceptive native advertising. The FTC’s complaint alleges that Warner failed to disclose that it paid online influencers were paid to promote Warner’s Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor video game. This is the second FTC enforcement action following the release of its native advertising guidelines (see our blog post on the guidelines here). The first FTC action was against Lord & Taylor for its deceptive (and hugely successful) Instagram influencer campaign that similarly failed to disclose that compensation had been provided to influencers.

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Be Careful What You List For–Competition Tribunal Orders TREB to Lift Restrictions on Use of MLS Data

Earlier this month, the Competition Tribunal issued its order for a remedy following its decision in late April finding that the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) had abused its dominant position in imposing restrictions on the use of data on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) contrary to Section 79 of the Competition Act

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Commissioner Knuckles Down on Moose Knuckles’ Use of “Made in Canada” Claims

On April 26, 2016, the Commissioner of Competition (the “Commissioner”) brought an application to the Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) against Moose International Inc., a manufacturer of premium winter jackets under the Moose Knuckles brand.

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2016 Competition Act and Investment Canada Act Thresholds Announced

1. Competition Act

Earlier today, the Canadian Competition Bureau (the Bureau) announced that the pre-merger notification Transaction-Size threshold will increase from $86 million to $87 million for 2016. The new threshold, which is revised annually and is indexed to the growth of Canadian GDP, will come into immediate effect following the publication of the Canada Gazette Part 1 (anticipated to occur on February 6, 2016).

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The Perils of Going Native: Why Canadians Should Heed US Guidelines on Native Advertising

In December 2015, the US Federal Trade Commission (the FTC) released Native Advertising: A Guide for Businesses (Guide for Businesses) and its Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements (Enforcement Policy). Collectively, these documents provide both guidance for businesses and insight as to how the FTC will enforce federal misleading advertising laws in connection with native advertising marketing campaigns. 

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Bureau Puts Helmet-Maker in the Penalty Box: Reebok-CCM To Cease Hockey Helmet Performance Claims

Yesterday, the Commissioner of Competition (the Commissioner) entered into a Consent Agreement (the Agreement) with Reebok-CCM (Reebok) requiring the company to stop making certain performance claims in connection with the company’s CCM Resistance hockey helmet.

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Staple Jam: Bureau Challenges Staples/Office Depot Merger

Yesterday, the Commissioner of Competition (the “Commissioner”) filed an application to the Competition Tribunal challenging Staples, Inc.’s (“Staples”) proposed acquisition of Office Depot Inc. (“Office Depot”). The Commissioner’s announcement coincided with the US Federal Trade Commission’s (the “FTC”) parallel challenge south of the border.

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Jan 20, 2014
2014 Competition Act and Investment Canada Act Merger Review Thresholds Announced

1. Competition Act

Earlier today, the Canadian Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) announced that the pre-merger notification Transaction-Size threshold will increase from $80 million to $82 million for 2014. The new threshold, which is revised annually and is indexed to the growth of Canadian GDP, will come into immediate effect following the publication of the Canada Gazette Part 1 (anticipated to occur on January 25, 2014).

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Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation Coming Into Force in 2014: Are You Ready?

Yesterday, the Minister of Industry announced that the bulk of Canada’s anti-spam law (“CASL”) will come into force on July 1, 2014, while the remaining provisions will be gradually phased-in by 2017. Subject to limited exceptions, CASL prohibits businesses from sending commercial electronic messages (“CEMs”) unless a prior express “opt-in” consent from the recipient has been obtained.

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Competition Bureau Provides Guidance on Minority Interest Transactions

The Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) has released its Position Statement regarding why it obtained a Consent Agreement (the “Agreement”) in connection with the acquisition of La Coop fédérée (“LCF”) in Groupe BMR.

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Commissioner Requires Remedies in Minority Interest Transaction

On November 1, 2004, the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) reached a Consent Agreement (the “Agreement”) from La Coop fédérée (“LCF”) and Groupe BMR (“BMR”) in connection with LCF’s acquisition of a minority interest in BMR. The Agreement requires that (i) certain franchisees in four local markets in the province of Quebec find new banner under which to operate; and (ii) that LCF and BMR continue supplying the stores on competitive terms until either a new franchisor is found or the end of 2014.

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Commissioner Obtains Significant Divestitures in Sobeys/Safeway Deal

The Competition Bureau announced yesterday that it had entered into a Consent Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Sobeys Inc. (“Sobeys”) regarding its acquisition of Canada Safeway Limited (“Safeway”). The Agreement requires the divestiture of 23 stores in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

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Canada-EU Trade Agreement: Foreign Investment Review Threshold to Increase to $1.5B for EU Investors

Today, Prime Minister Harper announced that Canada and the European Union have entered into the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”). The goal of CETA is to eliminate tariffs, encourage foreign investment, and promote the movement of labour.

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2013 Throne Speech: Possible Amendments to Competition Act to Address Cross-Border Price Differences

Yesterday’s Speech from the Throne indicated that consumer protection will be an important part of the Canadian government’s legislative and political agenda for the remainder of its current term of office. Although the speech mentioned several priority areas, there was a clear focus on taking steps to reduce the prices paid by Canadians across a range of industries.

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Cineplex Changes Deal to Get Bureau Approval

Yesterday, the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) announced that had issued a No Action Letter (“NAL”) in connection with Cineplex Inc.’s acquisition of 22 movie theatres from Empire Theatres Ltd. The Bureau’s press release also indicated that, during the course of the review, the parties revised their transaction to address concerns raised by Bureau staff.

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Industry Canada Blocks Sale of Allstream Due to National Security Concerns

Yesterday, Minister of Industry James Moore (the “Minister”) announced that Accelero Capital Holdings’ (“Accelero”) proposed $520 million acquisition of Allstream, a division of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (“MTS"), would not be allowed to proceed under the national security provisions of the Investment Canada Act (the “Act”).

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Competition Bureau Provides Useful Update to Immunity and Leniency FAQs

The Competition Bureau provided useful guidance to firms regarding its immunity and leniency programs in the form of revised “frequently asked questions: (“FAQs”) that were released today.  The revised FAQs highlight several substantive and procedurals changes to these programs.

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