Competition Bureau invites feedback on updated Competitor Collaboration Guidelines

News release

July 29, 2020 - GATINEAU, QC - Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau has published a draft version of its revised Competitor Collaboration Guidelines and invites interested parties to provide their comments no later than September 28, 2020.

In today’s rapidly evolving digital economy, strategic collaboration can help businesses remain competitive by making efficient use of resources and accelerating innovation. The Bureau’s updated guidelines are intended to help businesses identify and avoid the types of collaboration that can harm competition.

The Bureau updated its guidelines to reflect its experience reviewing competitor collaborations since the 2009 amendments to the Competition Act. The updates also reflect relevant decisions of the Competition Tribunal and courts, including rulings related to the Bureau’s investigation into alleged anti-competitive conduct by certain publishers and retailers of e-books in Canada.

These modest updates will not substantially change the Bureau’s approach to enforcing the Act.

Interested parties can provide comments online or to the coordinates below. Each submission received by the Bureau will be published on its website unless the provider specifically requests that it be kept confidential.

Cartels Directorate & Monopolistic Practices Directorate
Competition Bureau
50 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0C9

Quick facts

  • Enforcement guidelines provide an overview of the Bureau's general approach to applying specific provisions of the Act.

  • Notable updates to the guidelines include:

    • providing greater context regarding the types of evidence the Bureau will consider in assessing whether firms are competitors;
    • clarifying the circumstances in which the Bureau will investigate agreements between competitors for the purchase of products under the criminal cartel provisions of the Act; and
    • providing updated examples of conduct that could raise concerns under the Act.
  • The guidelines are for general application and they were not updated in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific COVID-19 guidance on competitor collaborations was issued in April 2020 and remains in effect until further notice.

  • The Bureau will continue to review and update the guidelines in light of experience, changing circumstances and court decisions.

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