The Cartels and Leniency Review: Canada

Authors: George N. Addy, Anita Banicevic and Mark C. Katz

The Competition Act (Act) is Canada’s key antitrust legislation. The stated purpose of the Act is to maintain and encourage competition in Canada to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy. Within this federal legislation are provisions dealing with reviewable practices, such as abuse of dominance and price maintenance, as well as provisions dealing with criminal conduct, such as conspiracies between competitors and bid rigging.

This article by George Addy, Anita Banicevic and Mark Katz focuses on the cartel provisions in the Act, which make it a criminal offence for competitors to enter into certain types of agreements. The article breaks down the enforcement of these provisions by the Competition Bureau (Bureau), while providing a primer on potential liabilities, defences, exemptions and penalties. It also examines both the coordination between jurisdictions and the court’s power to compel disclosure from the Bureau in light of recent developments.

This article was first published in The Cartels and Leniency Review - Edition 5 (published in January 2017 – editors Christine A Varney and John Terzaken). For further information please email

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