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C-56 Receives Royal Assent

December 18, 2023 – Before the House adjourned for the holiday break, Bill C-56 the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act received royal assent and was made law. Amending the Competition Act, Bill C-56 makes a number of improvements to Canada’s competition law framework, including:

  • Removing the efficiencies defense for harmful mergers and anticompetitive agreements
  • Giving the Competition Bureau the independent authority to conduct market studies
  • Strengthening enforcement against abuses of market dominance and unfair practices
  • Expanding the scope of anticompetitive agreements falling offside the law

Though the Competition Act received targeted amendments in 2022, Bill C-56 makes more material changes to the law to better protect Canadian businesses and consumers from concentrated corporate power.

“C-56 is an excellent development towards a more competitive future in Canada,” said Keldon Bester, Executive Director of the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project. “By resolving some of the long-standing issues with the Competition Act, C-56 gives the Competition Bureau a better toolkit to tackle the oligopolies that characterize so many of our markets. C-56 also shows that competition is not a partisan issue, with parliamentarians from all parties coming together in support of a shared commitment to a more competitive and prosperous future for Canadians. While there is still more work to be done to improve the lives of Canadians, C-56 is an important first step in that direction.”