Trends : Class action - Damages - Canada - USA

Canada : Antitrust Class Actions

The Canadian Competition Act has granted to private parties the right to institute recourses in damages following violation of some of its provisions. However, several years went by before a civil action was instituted. The fact that the Federal Court of Canada as well as the majority of the Canadian provinces recently adopted class actions legislation has made civil recourses for breach of the Competition Act increasingly popular. The authors first examine the organization of the provisions of the Competition Act and, more precisely, section 36 permitting civil recourses following a violation of the Act. To that effect, the authors review the rules of procedure regulating section 36 such as the limitation period, the burden of proof, and the effect of evidence of a defendant’s prior criminal proceedings. The authors go on and consider the differences between the American anti-trust legislation and the Canadian Competition Act. They conclude with an analysis of the requirements in Canadian and Quebec jurisdictions necessary for the Courts to grant certification of a class action, and the various Competition Act class actions that were brought to date.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. 1. The Competition Act, then known as the Combines Investigation Act, was first enacted in 1889, and in 1976 gave private parties (as opposed to the Commissioner) the right to seek remedies for damages for violations of certain provisions of the Competition Act. This new right was little used by litigants, no doubt because of the costs associated with the difficulty of establishing the alleged wrongful practice. It took a few years before a private action was brought. It is the recent adoption of class action legislation by the majority of Canadian provinces and by the Federal Court of Canada that has led to a considerable increase in these private

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Serge Bourque, Catherine Lamarre-Dumas, Canada : Antitrust Class Actions, February 2006, Concurrences N° 1-2006, Art. N° 871, pp. 207-212

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