June 18, 2015
Canada’s Competition Tribunal has issued a temporary order to restrict an acquisition in response to a complaint filed by the Commissioner of Competition. In assessing the grounds for the order, the Competition Tribunal adopted a test that adds a clearly defined threshold to the existing standard (for more detail on the case, read our bulletin “Update: Competition Tribunal Grants Interim Injunction in Parkland/Pioneer Merger”). A Financial Post article on the case discusses the expectation of some competition lawyers that more of these orders will being sought—and potentially obtained—by the Commissioner of Competition. The article features comment from co-chair of our Competition and Foreign Investment Review Practice Omar Wakil on the significance of this case. Below is an excerpt of the article.
What's important here is how the Commissioner of Competition was able to get the temporary or "interim order" that applies to those six communities. The tribunal decision adopts a test that should make it easier for the regulator to obtain such interim injunctions in the future.
"It's a big deal," says Omar Wakil, a competition lawyer with Torys LLP, who has published a note on the case. Until now, lawyers and merging companies have understood that if they can sit tight until the appropriate deadlines have passed, they can go ahead and close their mergers—even if the competition regulator has lingering legal concerns about the effect of the deal on competition. That puts the regulator in the difficult position of having to unscramble the eggs.
To read the full article, click here.