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Featured Update
Practical Law Canada Competition

July 18, 2016

This Featured Update discusses the recent Online Reviews and Endorsements Guidelines issued by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN). It includes a summary of key principles and guidelines for review administrators, traders and marketing professionals, and digital influencers. It also highlights how these new Guidelines reflect the Canadian Competition Bureau’s approach to online reviews and endorsements, as well as other major consumer protection agencies.

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July 17, 2016

Promotional contests in Canada are largely governed by the federal Competition Act, Criminal Code and contract law. Other laws can also apply depending on the type of contest, including privacy, anti-spam and intellectual property law. One of the areas of law that has affected contests the most over the past several years is CASL – Canada’s anti-spam legislation. For more information, see my CASL overview: here.

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July 16, 2016

Guest post by John Simpson

(Shift Law)

Online threats to commercial reputations are on the rise. These include “attack sites”, “gripe sites” (e.g., RipOff Report), cyber-libel via social media, domain name high-jacking, meta tag high-jacking and defamatory email campaigns. Online brand and reputation attacks are easy and inexpensive to wage and they can be devastatingly effective.

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Guest post by Nick Hollinger
tbk Creative

July 15, 2016

It’s common knowledge that any organization can – and should – set up free social media accounts to start organically reaching individuals without spending a dime. So, that’s all businesses can do with social media, right?  Wrong.

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July 13, 2016

I frequently receive inquires and calls relating to filing a competition, advertising, consumer protection or other regulatory complaint. Companies, individuals or other types of organizations may want to file a complaint relating to a competitor, manufacturer or supplier, retailer or other market participant based on potentially anti-competitive or misleading/deceptive conduct in the marketplace.

A complaint may be based on direct harm in the marketplace (for example, competitor conduct that is causing damages) or simply from a concern that a company’s or individual’s activities are violating federal, provincial or local laws.

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Guest post by John Bodrug & Anita Banicevic
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

July 1, 2016

On June 28, 2016, Canada’s Competition Bureau announced that it had cleared Superior Plus Corporation’s acquisition of Canexus Corporation despite the Bureau’s conclusion that the transaction “would likely result in a substantial lessening of competition for the supply of various industrial chemical products in Canada”. The Bureau attributed its decision to the unique availability of the efficiencies defence under section 96 of the Competition Act (which provides that a merger cannot be prohibited when the expected efficiency gains outweigh the likely anti-competitive effects of the transaction). The day before the Bureau’s announcement, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it is challenging the transaction because it would “significantly reduce competition in the North American market for sodium chlorate”. Despite the disparate outcomes, these announcements and actions highlight not only the availability of the efficiencies defence in Canada, but also the increased level of coordination and cooperation between the Bureau and its U.S. antitrust counterparts in cross-border mergers.

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Excerpt from Featured Update
Practical Law Canada Competition

June 20, 2016

This update discusses the Competition Tribunal’s recent Kobo decision, which clarifies the substantive requirements for consent agreements.  This update also discusses the Competition Bureau’s increased bid-rigging enforcement and awareness efforts.

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May 27, 2016

Earlier today, the Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced two final settlements in its four-year year litigation against Canada’s major telecoms and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). See: Bell customers to receive up to $11.82 million as part of Competition Bureau agreement.

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May 26, 2016

Steve Szentesi & Mark Warner

Earlier today, the Globe and Mail reported that the Canadian Competition Bureau (Bureau) has launched a widespread criminal investigation into the condominium renovation industry in Ontario. See: here. According to the Globe, the focus of the Bureau’s investigation appears to be potential criminal conspiracy and bid-rigging in the provision of renovation services to condominiums from 2006-2014 with more than 100 condominium boards being compelled to produce records (which appear to be by way of section 11 orders under the Competition Act).

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Excerpt from Featured Update
Practical Law Canada Competition

May 13, 2016

On May 10, 2016, the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) released its full reasons in the landmark Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) abuse of dominance case (The Commissioner of Competition v. The Toronto Real Estate Board, 2016 Comp. Trib. 7 (Competition Trib.)). This decision is the culmination of five years of litigation, including a Federal Court of Appeal decision that redefined and expanded the law of abuse of dominance in Canada. For more information about abuse of dominance, see Practice Note, Abuse of Dominance (Sections 78 and 79 of the Competition Act).

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