DEFINITION of Canadian Competition Act

The Competition Act is the Canadian federal law that governs competition and business conduct in Canada. It aims to prevent anti-competitive market practices and ensure consumers enjoy competitive products and prices.

BREAKING DOWN Canadian Competition Act

The Canadian Competition Act like U.S. antitrust laws seeks to prevent companies participating in anti-competitive business practices, like price-fixing, bid-rigging, exclusive dealing, tied selling, market restriction or refusal to deal and abuse of dominance (forming monopolies). It permits the government to review mergers to assess their anti-competitive effects, regardless of size.

The Competition Act also seeks to promote competition and create equitable opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises, and protects consumers by prohibiting deceptive marketing and advertising.

Private citizens have been able to sue to enforce the act since 2002 — except for cases of abuse of dominance. The Canadian Competition Act is administered by the Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency, and cases are adjudicated by the Competition Tribunal.