Competition Bureau joins multilateral working group on analysis of pharmaceutical mergers

News release

Joint project brings together agencies from Canada, U.S., U.K. and European Union

March 16, 2021 - GATINEAU, QC - Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau has joined its counterparts in the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union in launching an international working group to develop updated approaches for analyzing the effects of pharmaceutical mergers.

Initiated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the working group also includes the European Commission Directorate General for Competition, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Offices of State Attorneys General.

The joint project brings together a number of the Bureau’s key partners to ensure effective enforcement in a crucial sector of the Canadian and global economy. The goal of the initiative is to identify concrete steps to review and update the analysis of pharmaceutical mergers, which are often subject to review in multiple jurisdictions.

The working group will examine a variety of issues related to mergers in the pharmaceutical industry, including potential updates and expansion of current theories of harm, the evaluation of the full range of effects of a merger on innovation, as well as potential remedies to resolve emerging concerns.


“The pharmaceutical industry is a vital part of Canada’s health sector, and we will continue to collaborate closely with our international partners to ensure we are staying on top of emerging issues – with respect to mergers as well as any type of potentially anticompetitive conduct.”

Matthew Boswell,
Commissioner of Competition

Quick facts

  • Promoting competition and innovation in Canada’s health sector, including the pharmaceutical industry, is a strategic priority for the Competition Bureau.

  • International cooperation and coordination is a crucial part of effective competition law enforcement, to the benefit of all Canadian consumers and businesses.

  • The working group on pharmaceutical mergers builds on the strong working relationships the Competition Bureau has with its U.S., U.K. and European Union counterparts.

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