Canada boasts some of the world's toughest anti-cartel laws, which prohibit companies in the same industry from agreeing to keep prices artificially high. This includes bid-rigging, in which two or more organizations agree to work together—without informing the bid requester—to reduce or eliminate the competitive nature of a bid process.

In 2010, the federal government introduced a new category of per se criminal antitrust offences. The new law does not require proof of any adverse economic impact and penalties have increased to a maximum prison term of 14 years and/or $25 million in fines. This increased government vigilance has magnified the consequences for companies targeted by the Canadian Competition Bureau, the country's competition law enforcer.

In addition to the criminal proceedings, companies may also be susceptible to class action proceedings brought by consumers. Both criminal and civil cases often have a cross-border component and are enforced by multiple competition authorities working together.

McMillan's Competition and Antitrust Group has represented firms with respect to many of the most significant cartels in recent Canadian history and includes some of Canada's most experienced counsel to assist companies facing potential cartel-related prosecution. From a preventative standpoint, we help clients remain in compliance with the law. If a client is the subject of an investigation or prosecution, we help assess all options including seeking immunity or leniency under the relevant Competition Bureau programs, or defending against criminal and/or civil proceedings. Whatever path is chosen, our goal is to protect the interests of our clients.

McMillan professionals help clients lead by:

  • Assisting with internal investigations including complying with search warrants and responding to information production requirements
  • Negotiating immunity or leniency in Competition Bureau investigations or criminal prosecutions
  • Defending against criminal proceedings and/or class action lawsuits
  • Recommending compliance and governance policies
  • Advising on the development of anti-cartel compliance programs
  • Acted for numerous defendants in various Auto Parts matters
  • Acted for a defendant in the LCD and CRT matters
  • Represented respondents in the Ontario and Quebec Retail Gasoline matters 
  • Acted for a participant in the Marine Hoses matter
  • Acted for a defendant in the Air Cargo matter
  • Acted for a defendant in the Vitamins criminal investigation/prosecution and follow-on class actions
  • Acted for a defendant in the DRAM criminal investigation/prosecution and follow-on class actions
  • Acted for a defendant in the Auction Houses criminal investigation and class action
  • Acted for a defendant in the Graphite Electrodes investigation/prosecution and follow-on multi-plaintiff actions
  • Acted for a defendant in the Choline Chloride investigation/prosecution and follow-on class action
  • Acted for a defendant in the Copper Market, Maltol, Travel Agent Commissions, Linerboard and Polyester Fiber class actions
November 2020

Competition Law Bulletin

February 2020
June 5, 2018
Toronto Intellectual Property Group, Rosewater Supper Club, Toronto, Ontario
January 2018
Bringing the Home State Back In: The Case for Home State Control in Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Business Law International, Vol. 19, No. 1

January 2018
June 2017

Competition and Antitrust Bulletin

February 2017

Global Coordinating Editor; Canada Chapter

November 2015
1:4 Competition Law & Policy Debate (2015)
June 4, 2015
Conspiracy & Bid-Rigging
Presentation to the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-BC, Annual General Meeting, Vancouver, BC
January 2015

What Fresh Hell is This? The Canadian Cartel Class Action System

January 2015

One Place Where Possession is not Nine Tenths of the Law

December 2014
Competition Bulletin
Republished in the February 2015 edition of the Canadian Privacy Law Review
November 2014
Competition Bulletin
November 2014
Discounts for Antitrust Compliance Programs: A Worthwhile Canadian Initiative
TerraLex Connections Newsletter
October 2014
The Walls Have Ears – Lots of Them!
October 2014
The Immunity and Leniency System
October 2014
Tangible Benefits for Corporate Compliance Programs: Show Us the Money
October 2014
The Basics
September 2014

Competition Bulletin

June 2014
Competition Class Actions: Some Joy for the Defense
Toronto Law Journal
June 2014
Competition Class Actions in Canada: The Pendulum Swings to the Defense
American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law, Business Torts and Civil RICO Committee (with D. Kent)
May 2014
Competition Bulletin
May 2014
Canadian Competition Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 1
May 2014
Global Antitrust and Compliance Handbook, Canada chapter
Oxford University Press
December 2013
The Antitrust Source
November 2013
Competition Bulletin
Canadian Competition Law Review
August 2013
Competition Bulletin
June 2013
Competition Bulletin
June 2013

Competition Bulletin

March 4, 2013
D & O Liability Under the Competition Act
Current Trends in Director & Officer Liability under the Competition Act, Law Society of Upper Canada, Emerging Issues in Directors' and Officers' Liability 2013
January 2013
Competition Bureau Continues Aggressive Pace of Enforcement
Toronto Law Journal
December 2012
American Bar Association Teleseminar
November 2012

Competition Bulletin

October 2012
(Available in French only)
La Collection Blais Volume 13– Rendez-vous 2012 en droit des sociétés, Les Éditions Yvon Blais
July 2012
25:1 Canadian Competition Law Review (2012)
April 2012
Getting the Deal Through
February 2012
Paper for the ABA/IBA International Cartel Workshop
January 2012
Canada Chapter in Getting the Deal Through - Cartel Regulation 2012
Global Competition Review
November 2011
Presentation to the GCR Law Leaders Conference
Chapter: "Canada: Private Antitrust Litigation"
The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2012
June 2011
Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report
April 2011
Antitrust Hot Topics: What the Business Lawyer Needs to Know
Antitrust Committee, Section of Business Law, American Bar Association
February 2011
Global Competition Review
January 2011
The 2011 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through - Private Antitrust Litigation 2011, (published in October 2010; contributing editor Samantha Mobley). For further information please visit
Buying Groups as a Criminal Offence: 321665 Alberta Ltd. v. ExxonMobile Canada Ltd. and Husky Oil Operations Ltd.
Co-author L. Parliament, Federated Press Competition Law Newsletter, Volume XIII, No. 4
September 2010
Jointly Venturing into Uncharted Territory: The New Conspiracy Law and its Implications for Joint Venture Conduct
Co-author D. Liddle, Canadian Bar Association 17th Annual Competition Law Fall Conference
April 2010
An Antitrust Round-Up for the Business Lawyer: What's New or Developing in the US, Canada, Europe and Beyond
Antitrust Committee, Section of Business Law, American Bar Association
March 2010
Competition Law Bulletin
March 2010
Chapter 12 in Criminalising Cartels: Critical Studies of an International Regulatory Movement, Caron Beaton-Wells and Ariel Ezrachi, eds.
February 2010
Paper for the ABA/IBA International Cartel Workshop, Paris
January 2010
Is Your Business Ready for the Latest Changes to Canada's Competition Act?
Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Seminar, Montreal
November 2009
Canada's Competition Law
Carrier's Competitive Edge, Canadian Insurance Business Magazine
Lang Michener LLP InBrief
April 2009
Sweeping changes to Canada's Competition Act

Co-author (John Clifford, Mark Opashinov and Sorcha O'Carroll), Global Competition Review, April 2009 (Vol. 12 Iss. 4)

Lang Michener InBrief
March 2009
Global Competition Review
February 2009
Lang Michener Competition & Antitrust Alert
Lang Michener Competition & Marketing Brief

Lang Michener Competition & Marketing Brief

Co-authored: Esther Rossman and James Musgrove
Lang Michener Competition & Marketing Brief 
Also published in CCH Commercial Times Newsletter , Number 498, January 2009
October 2008
Competition Law Bulletin
July 2008
Lang Michener Competition & Antitrust
Also published in Lexology
June 2008
Also published in Lang Michener Competition & Antitrust Brief Summer 2008
April 2008
CCH Corporate Brief & Competition and Antitrust Alert
Antitrust Immunity in Canada: The Sequel
Co-authored: Esther Rossman and James Musgrove
American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law Sherman Act Section 1 Newsletter
November 2007
Immunity from Prosecution Under the Canadian Competition Act: The Bureau's Updated Immunity Policy
Canadian Corporate Counsel
October 2007
Lang Michener Competition & Antitrust Alert
October 2007
Competition Law Bulletin
October 2007
Canada Chapter in: Getting the Deal Through – Private Antitrust Litigation 2008
Global Competition Review, October 2007
September 2007
Co-authored: Patti Phelan and James Musgrove
ACC Docket
August 2006
Lang Michener Competition & Antitrust Brief, Special Edition electronic version
March 2006
No Power? No Problem. Toward a More 'Reasonable' Test for Competitor Collaborations
Jones Day Swope Antitrust Writing Competition
October 2004
Global Competition Review, Global Briefings: Canada, October 2004
22:1 Canadian Competition Record 10 (Fall 2004)
May 2004
Counsel to Counsel, Antitrust Compliance - Brief Advice, May 2004
April 2004
Cartel Enforcement in Canada
Global Competition Forum, Competition Law and Policy in a Global Context
November 2003
Competition Reform -- Again The Discussion Paper and Bill C-249
January 2003
London: Global Competition Review, 2002
August 2002
Antitrust Report
April 2002
Canada Moves Towards Conspiracy Reform
Antitrust Report
February 2001
The Competition Cops are at the Door: How Best to React when the Worst Happens
Co-authored: Daniel Edmondstone and David Young
3rd Annual Insight Advertising & Marketing Conference
February 2000
Antitrust Report (co-authored with Nancy Johnson)
Canada chapter - Antitrust Law and Trade Regulation
Matthew Bender, 1999
May 1996
Canadian Corporate Counsel (vol. 5, no. 6)
April 1994
American Bar Association Canadian Law Newsletter