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Perspective: Competition Bureau Issues New Merger Guidelines — What They Mean for Canadian Businesses

Download this publication October 14, 2011

On October 6, 2011, Canada's Competition Bureau released newly revised Merger Enforcement Guidelines ("MEGs"). The MEGs set out the analytical framework used by the Bureau in its review of mergers and acquisitions under Canada's Competition Act. Of all the Bureau's various enforcement guidelines, the MEGs are the most used in practice.

These new MEGs replace the prior 2004 edition. Whereas the 2004 revision involved a considerable rewrite of the original 1991 MEGs, the new 2011 MEGs are intended to "address certain discrete areas where the [2004] MEGs do not fully reflect current Bureau practice and current economic and legal thinking". Given that there has been no contested merger decision in Canada since the release of the 2004 MEGs, the latest revision may also be seen as reflecting the Bureau's desire to keep pace with revisions last year to the U.S. Horizontal Merger Guidelines and revisions to guidelines in other jurisdictions.

This perspective provides an overview of key changes in the new MEGs and discusses practical implications for merger parties.

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