Here is an item that I co-wrote with my colleague Stephane Eljarrat.
When investigating cartel violations in Canada, the Competition Bureau’s tool of choice is the “search and seizure” (the Canadian equivalent of the “dawn raid” in Europe). The Bureau execises its search and seizure powers pursuant to judicially authorized warrants which it must obtain prior to searching a location and seizing records contained therein.
In a recent decision on the use of search and seizure powers generally in Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada addressed the question of whether a search warrant must expressly permit authorities to search computers or other electronic device [...]
Cartel enforcement in Canada is heavily dependent on the use of informants. This is explained by two principal factors. First, cartel conduct is, by its very nature, secretive and carried out in the shadows of business life. Second, Canada’s Competition Bureau, which is responsible for investigating cartels, is subject to budget constraints that limit its ability to expose and detect cartel conduct on its own.
In recognition of these realities, the Competition Bureau employs several tools to encourage informants to come forward with incriminating evidence. The best known of these tools is the Bureau’s Immunity/Leniency program, where the Bureau will recommend favourable prosecution and sente [...]
Bid rigging has for a long time been a merely theoretical example of criminal liability in Czech Antitrust law without any actual cases decided. Until 2010 with the introduction of criminal liability for hard-core horizontal cartels, this was one of the very few cases of cartels where one could actually think of criminal liability of the acting persons.
Following a police raid in 2006, however, the Czech Antitrust Office in 2010 (file No. S159/2009/KD) handed out penalties in the overall amount of about EUR 200.000 to five participants in a bid rigging cartel. While this certainly was not the first one to exist in the Czech Republic, this was the first one to be sanctioned by the Antitrust O [...]
US and EU antitrust law – antipodes as far as individual liability is concerned?
The US and EU approaches with regard to individual liability for competition law infringements have traditionally been notoriously different. US antitrust enforcement is well-known for its use of criminal sanctions against individuals, from fines to imprisonment. Since 2004, an individual who takes part in a cartel in the US can be imprisoned for up to ten years under the US Sherman act. In 2011 some 35 to 40 individuals received an average prison sentence of 17 months in the USA for cartel activities. By contrast, EU competition law exclusively focuses on infringements of competition law by “undertakings” [...]
Competition Law in Canada – Top 10 Issues for 2013
This is a post of an article written by my partners Anita Banicevic, Richard Elliott, Charles Tingley and me
2012 was a busy year for competition law and policy in Canada. Below we consider how some of the important developments in 2012 will shape the enforcement of Canadian competition law in 2013.
1. Will the New Interim Competition Commissioner Stay the Enforcement Course?
In September 2012, the Commissioner of Competition resigned and was replaced on an interim basis by John Pecman, a seasoned Bureau veteran with over 28 years of enforcement experience. While a permanent replacement is expected [...]
The Canadian Track Record in Punishing Cartel Conduct
Canada has a long history of pursuing and prosecuting cartels (more commonly referred to in Canadian competition law as “conspiracies”). The first criminal anti-cartel prohibition was enacted in Canada in 1889, one year prior to passage of the Sherman Act in the United States. Since that time, there have been numerous cartel prosecutions in Canada involving a myriad of industries. Canada also has an active and sophisticated immunity (amnesty)/leniency program, and is considered to be among the first jurisdictions that participants in global cartels should contact when approaching the authorities.
And yet, notwithstanding its establis [...]