The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2017

Canada: Private Antitrust Litigation

Two different venues provide opportunity for private antitrust litigation in Canada. Most commonly used is the civil court system for the pursuit of damages following criminal anticompetitive behaviour, usually pursued by means of class actions, which John Pecman, the Commissioner of Competition, has said is ‘the biggest growth area in antitrust in Canada’. Far less common are administrative proceedings before the Canadian Competition Tribunal, which are available to private parties under certain circumstances. This chapter will describe recent activity in both forums with a focus on civil litigation as it is currently characterised by two important legal issues: who is properly situated as a plaintiff in Canadian competition class actions; and the navigation of multiple and overlapping parallel class actions. It will include a case study of competition class actions in Quebec in recognition of the significant differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada’s class action procedures.

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