Mr Stephen Nattrass

Stephen Nattrass


Competition & Antitrust

Bureau releases consultation draft of updated IP enforcement guidelines
Canada | 02 July 2015

The Competition Bureau has released its updated draft Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines for public consultation. The draft is similar to the September 2014 version, although it includes many more examples concerning patent settlements and standard-essential patents. The Competition Bureau has clarified that settlement agreements will be reviewed civilly, absent evidence of intent to fix prices, allocate markets or restrict output.

Competition Bureau loses major bid-rigging case
Canada | 28 May 2015

An Ontario jury recently found nine defendants not guilty of 60 charges of bid rigging and conspiracy to rig bids, following an eight-month trial and six days of deliberation. This case demonstrates that, while the Competition Bureau has been successful in using the immunity and leniency programmes and securing guilty pleas, it has been less successful in prosecuting criminal offences under the Competition Act.

Abuse of dominance do-over – appeals court orders new hearing in real estate case
Canada | 27 February 2014

The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that the Competition Tribunal took too narrow an approach to the Competition Act's abuse of dominance provisions, sending the commissioner of competition's case against the Toronto Real Estate Board back to the tribunal for reconsideration. At issue is whether conduct not directed at a competitor can fall within the scope of the dominance provisions.

Competition Act misleading advertising provisions: bureau dealt another blow
Canada | 03 October 2013

A court recently upheld the constitutionality of the misleading advertising and administrative monetary penalty provisions of the Competition Act, but dismissed most of the commissioner of competition's case against Chatr Wireless Inc and its parent company. Entities should take care that claims made in advertisements are not false or misleading, and that consumers' general impressions are considered before publication.

Competition Tribunal rejects commissioner's challenge to Visa and MasterCard rules
Canada | 01 August 2013

The Competition Tribunal recently announced its long-awaited decision in the commissioner of competition's case against Visa Canada Corporation and MasterCard International Incorporated. This is the tribunal's first decision interpreting the new civil price maintenance provision.

Competition Tribunal confirms abuse of dominance must target competitors
Canada | 25 April 2013

The Competition Tribunal recently rejected the commissioner of competition's argument that the Toronto Real Estate Board was engaging in anti-competitive acts contrary to Section 79 of the Competition Act. An interesting question arising from this case is whether behaviour that is harmful to competition generally, but which is not targeted specifically at a particular competitor, can ever be considered an abuse of dominance.

Mandatory prison sentences introduced for some competition offences
Canada | 22 November 2012

Stricter sentences have recently been introduced for criminal convictions under the Competition Act. As there will now be less flexibility in the sentences that can be agreed to, these changes will also affect the way that corporations and individuals work out plea agreements with the Competition Bureau and the director of public prosecutions.

The Safe Streets and Communities Act: perp walks for Canadian executives?
Canada | 27 October 2011

The Safe Streets and Communities Act is relatively well known for the significant impact that it will have on a number of criminal statutes. Less well known, however, is the important effect that it will have on Canadians charged with violating the conspiracy and bid-rigging provisions of the Competition Act. This effect creates a new, US-style dynamic that may see the infamous Wall Street 'perp walks' become a Canadian business risk.