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 to issue what is known as 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.
The enactment of the Competition Act’s new merger review process generated significant debate in Canada. In particular, concerns were expressed that the Canadian SIRs would come to resemble U.S. “second requests” in terms of the cost and delay imposed on merging parties.
This article discusses some preliminary insights, gained over the first 10 months, into how the new merger regime has performed in practice.