A series of likely precedent-setting rulings regarding gender stereotyping was recently issued by the UK advertising regulator Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). These are the first rulings issued by the ASA following the issuance of new rules issued by the regulator that prohibit ads featuring “harmful gender stereotypes.” The issuance of ASA’s new rules and the publicity regarding the recent enforcement action may encourage similar complaints to the Canadian advertising regulator, Ad Standards and may impact Ad Standard’s enforcement of its Gender Portrayal Guidelines.Read Full Article
In an unusual move, the Competition Bureau is challenging a completed transaction – it is unclear from the materials filed by the Bureau whether the merger was subject to pre-merger notification. In its application, the Bureau alleges that the deal will create a monopoly in the market for the development, service and supply of reserves software sold to Canadian oil and gas producers. The Bureau alleges the transaction results in anti-competitive price and non-price effects, as well as lessening of innovation. The Commissioner is seeking an order requiring the purchaser to sell one of its reserves software products.
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).
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.Read Full Article
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.Read Full Article
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.Read Full Article
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.Read Full Article
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.Read Full Article
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.Read Full Article
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”).Read Full Article
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.Read Full Article