IMPORTANT AMENDMENTS TO THE COMPETITION ACT: AN OVERVIEW
Important amendments to the Competition Act: An overview
By Caroline Jonnaert and Jason Moscovici*
Lawyers, patent and trademark agents
Each year, the Government of Canada adopts a budget implementation act that results in multiple legislative changes. This year was no exception with Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures, receiving Royal Assent on June 23, 2022. One of the consequences of this legislation is that it makes significant amendments to the Competition Act (the “Act”).
The main purpose of the amendments to the Act is to modernize Canada’s competition regime. For example, the amendments add a new “drip pricing” provision to the prohibition on false or misleading representations. Other amendments address the areas of commercial collusion and abuse of a dominant position, as well as merger review and evidence gathering during investigations.
It will be important to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Act, as the Canadian government has increased the maximum fines and penalties for certain offences. For example, penalties for deceptive marketing practices will now be set at the greater of (i) $10 million ($15 million for repeat offences) and (ii) three times the value of the profit earned as a result of the offence or, if that amount cannot be determined, 3% of the corporation’s annual worldwide gross revenues.
With the exception of the amendments to the criminal conspiracy provisions which will come into force on June 23, 2023, these amendments came into force on June 23, 2022. A second set of amendments is expected as part of the general reform of the Act. We will pay close attention to the developments of this reform. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the members of our Regulatory Affairs team if you have any questions about the application of the Act.
*Caroline Jonnaert is a Lawyer, Trademark Agent and Partner, and Jason Moscovici is a Lawyer, Biochemist and Partner at ROBIC, L.L.P., a multi-disciplinary firm of lawyers and patent and trademark agents.
Thanks to Samuel Ross for his assistance in drafting this article.
 An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and to implement other measures, First Session, Forty-fourth Parliament, 70-71 Elizabeth II, 2021-2022, online: https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-19/royal-assent.
 In practical terms, “drip pricing” exists when a product or service is advertised at a certain price, yet consumers are required to pay additional fixed charges or fees that are not imposed by the government to purchase that product or service.