In March 2009, the Canadian Competition Act's merger review process was amended to align it more closely with U.S. merger review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. Under the new Canadian process, the Competition Bureau must decide within 30 days of receiving a complete filing whether to clear a notifiable transaction or issue a "supplementary information request" ("SIR"). If SIRs are issued, the parties cannot close until 30 days after all of the requested information has been provided to the Bureau.
This article discusses the significant debate generated in Canada by the enactment of the Competition Act's new merger review process, including concerns that the Canadian SIRs would come to resemble U.S. "second requests" in terms of the cost and delay imposed on merging parties. The authors also offer some preliminary insights and practical advice on how Canada's new merger review process has performed so far.