The Canadian Court of Appeal dismisses the action for damages in a conspiracy claim against joint purchasers in the oil industry (Alberta/Husky Oil Operations)

No pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow* A decision by joint operators of an oil field to use a single fluid hauler was not an unlawful conspiracy, the Alberta Court of Appeal held recently, overturning a 2011 decision that awarded about $8 million to the loser of a competitive bidding process: 321665 Alberta Ltd. v. Husky Oil Operations Ltd., 2013 ABCA 221. The decision provides important guidance on a number of competition law and damages issues. Propositions that may be drawn from this case include: A reduction in competition arising from the operation of the free market is not an “undue lessening” for purposes of the old section 45. While section 45 has since been amended to remove the undueness element, this decision will be important for the “legacy” cases still in the system.

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Michael Osborne, The Canadian Court of Appeal dismisses the action for damages in a conspiracy claim against joint purchasers in the oil industry (Alberta/Husky Oil Operations), 14 June 2013, e-Competitions Bulletin Burden of proof, Art. N° 54820

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