Cartel enforcement in Canada is heavily dependent on the use of informants. This is explained by two principal factors. First, cartel conduct is, by its very nature, secretive and carried out in the shadows of business life. Second, Canada’s Competition Bureau, which is responsible for investigating cartels, is subject to budget constraints that limit its…

Like the European Commission, I am confident that the European Merger Simplification Project will bring benefits for clients. As many commentators have affirmed, I do not doubt that the increase of the currently applicable market share thresholds for the identification of horizontally and vertically “affected markets” by 5 per cent to 20% and 30% respectively…

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) has stepped up its merger control activities on many fronts in recent weeks, issuing ground-breaking decisions in the Glencore/Xstrata and Marubeni/Gavilon cases and circulating draft procedural rules for public consultation on merger remedies and on dealing with straightforward merger control cases. The new decisions On April 16, 2013, MOFCOM…

Canada’s first competition legislation was enacted in 1889, with the intention of combatting the price-fixing and other anti-competitive conduct of so-called “combinations.” Trade and professional associations figured prominently among the “combinations” alleged to have engaged in this anti-competitive behaviour. As one observer commented at the time, “there are few branches of trade in this or…

Merger challenges are rare in Canada.  The last contested merger case in Canada was in 2005.  Typically, concerns about a prospective merger are resolved in negotiations between the Commissioner of Competition (the “Commissioner”) and the acquiring party, with some form of partial divestiture the usual remedy required. As such, it was a major development when…

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division “remains committed to taking all appropriate investigatory and enforcement action against conduct threatening harm to competition in agricultural markets,” according to a report released earlier this month. The report, entitled “Competition and Agriculture: Voices from the Workshops on Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement in our 21st Century Economy and Thoughts…

In recent months, again there have been major developments in German competition law. Some of these developments have unfolded in high-tech industries, such as chipboard panel manufacturing, online video services and telecommunications, while others have arisen in more traditional contexts. At the legislative level, the German government has presented a draft bill for a major…

The prospects for the merger of Deutsche Börse AG and NYSE Euronext are looking a little brighter, since the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division conditionally approved the transaction yesterday. U.S. antitrust approval is a major hurdle; however, the combination of the two leading stock exchange groups, which was announced in February, still requires clearance…

A case involving Google confirms that the French Competition Authority is keen on using a combination of interim measures and commitment proceedings in order help it quickly resolve maters which it perceives as competition issues. This may remain a specific feature of the French system however: having regard to the very demanding standard of proof…