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Trade Associations and the Competition Act

Trade associations, by their nature, bring together people who work for or own businesses that have common goals and interests. This provides association members with the opportunity to discuss topics such as industry challenges and business development ideas. Because of this, trade associations and their members need to be aware of how these discussions carry a risk of violating the Competition Act, which includes provisions that prohibit activities such as bid-rigging, price-fixing, and other anti-competitive practices.

Violations of the Act can have serious consequences for both associations and their members, which is why everyone involved in an industry association has a responsibility to stay informed and ensure compliance with the Act.

Below are some recommended best practices for associations to follow.

Information sharing

Association meetings

Compliance

Governance

Membership

Opportunities for immunity and leniency

The Immunity and Leniency Programs offer incentives for individuals and businesses involved in illegal conduct to come forward to help authorities find and prosecute offenders under the Competition Act. The programs are administered jointly by the Competition Bureau and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

If you have been involved in activities that may violate the criminal provisions of the Competition Act, you may want to familiarize yourself with the Immunity and Leniency Programs.

Further reading

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