Minister Champagne maintains the Competition Act’s merger notification threshold to support a dynamic, fair and resilient economy
Pre-merger notification transaction-size threshold to remain at $93M and Canada’s competition law to be examined
February 7, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario
Competition in the economy is a driving force behind innovation, efficiency and adaptability. Now more than ever, as part of Canada’s economic recovery, effective and modern competition law and enforcement are necessary to promote affordability for middle-class Canadians and maintain resilient supply chains.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that he is not increasing the transaction-size threshold for the advance notification of mergers for 2022. The threshold remains at its 2021 level of $93 million. This decision not only recognizes the growth of the Canadian economy over the last year but also takes into consideration the ongoing pressures the economy continues to face, including rising inflation. This decision gives the Competition Bureau a greater field of view in its efforts to detect potentially harmful transactions, ensure that they are properly reviewed before taking hold in the marketplace, and help protect Canadian consumers and businesses.
In recognition of the critical role of the Competition Act in promoting dynamic and fair markets, the Minister will also carefully evaluate potential ways to improve its operation, including:
- fixing loopholes that allow for harmful conduct;
- more clearly addressing drip pricing;
- tackling wage fixing agreements;
- increasing access to justice for those injured by harmful conduct;
- adapting the law to today’s digital reality to better tackle emerging forms of harmful behaviour in the digital economy; and
- modernizing the penalty regime to ensure it serves as a genuine deterrent against harmful business conduct.
With the global pandemic continuing to cause stresses to Canadian industry and consumers, competition is a key tool to create the kind of marketplace that will allow Canada’s economy to emerge stronger than ever.
“Canadians are rightly concerned about the rising cost of living, corporate concentration and a fair chance at participating in the economy. That’s why we are taking action to help the Competition Bureau continue to protect consumers and the integrity of the marketplace. We will also ensure that our competition law remains the most effective tool it can be in making life more affordable for Canadians.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Under the merger provisions of the Competition Act, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry reviews the threshold annually.
The Minister may leave the threshold unchanged or may adjust it using the indexing mechanism set out in the Competition Act, which is based on change in Canada’s nominal GDP, or prescribe a different amount to be established by regulation.
Budget 2021 provided $96 million over five years, starting in 2021–22, and $27.5 million ongoing to enhance the Competition Bureau’s enforcement capacity and ensure it is equipped with the digital tools necessary for today’s economy.
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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