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Mark Katz, Feb 28, 2008
On January 22, 2008, the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) rejected the Competition Bureau’s appeal in Labatt, refusing the Bureau’s request for section 100 relief and more time to investigate Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd.’s proposed 2007 acquisition of Lakeport Brewing. When section 100 was amended in 1999, the prevailing view was that the threshold for relief was relatively low. In particular, it was thought that the prospect of post-merger integration would be sufficient in most cases for the Tribunal to hold that the failure to issue an interim injunction would substantially impair its remedial authority. The FCA’s decision confirms that this view was incorrect and that the threshold for relief under section 100 is higher than the Bureau would prefer, and indeed more onerous than many in the Canadian competition bar had thought.