|Posted on 21 October, 2016 at 13:55|
COMPETITION LAW PRIVATE ACTIONS & CLASS ACTIONS
Significant changes have recently been made to the federal Competition Act(the “Act”) that impact private actions in Canada (making it easier for private plaintiffs to commence private actions under the Act’s criminal conspiracy provisions). At the same time, there have recently been several plaintiff-favourable class action decisions in Ontario and British Columbia that make it easier to certify competition law class actions. The combined result of these recent developments is that competition law private actions are now of more importance to plaintiffs seeking remedies for anti-competitive conduct under the Act. At the same time, there appears appears to be an increasing number of private and class actions currently being commenced in Canada.
Generally speaking, parties may commence private actions under the Act for contraventions of either the criminal provisions of the Act or a breach of a court or Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) order made under the Act. Private competition law actions in Canada have typically been commenced in the context of (i) consumers alleging damages as a result of a conspiracy between suppliers (e.g., a price fixing conspiracy relating to a product or key input), (ii) consumers alleging damages as a result of misleading advertising claims (e.g., false or misleading claims in relation to a product, investment or other business opportunity, etc.) or (iii) competitors alleging damages based on misleading claims made by a competitor or alleged conspiracy entered into among other competitors.
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