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Competition Bureau issues Price Maintenance Enforcement Guidelines

September 15, 2014 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau announced today that it has released its final Enforcement Guidelines entitled Price Maintenance (Section 76 of the Competition Act). The updated guidelines are now available on the Bureau's website.

The guidelines describe the Bureau’s general approach to enforcing section 76 of the Competition Act, including with respect to common business practices, such as minimum resale pricing, manufacturer-suggested resale pricing and minimum advertised pricing. They replace previous guidelines and bulletins dealing with price maintenance.

In March 2014, the Bureau released draft guidelines for public consultation. The Bureau carefully reviewed the comments received during the consultation period, prior to finalizing the guidelines.

The issuance of the guidelines supports the Bureau’s Action Plan on Transparency, which aims to promote the development of a more cost-effective, efficient and responsive agency, while providing Canadians with more opportunities to learn about the Bureau’s work.

Quick Facts:

  • Amendments to the Competition Act in 2009 decriminalized the treatment of price maintenance conduct under the Act, repealing the former criminal offence (section 61) and introducing in its place a new non-criminal provision, the current section 76.
  • Under section 76, it is necessary to demonstrate that price maintenance conduct has had, is having or is likely to have an adverse effect on competition in a market.
  • Alleged criminal price-fixing conspiracies continue to be dealt with under section 45 of the Competition Act.

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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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