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Competition Bureau clears Manulife’s acquisition of Standard Life

November 14, 2014 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau.

The Competition Bureau announced today that it has issued a No Action Letter (NAL) with respect to Manulife Financial Corporation’s (Manulife) proposed acquisition of the Canadian-based operations of Standard Life plc (Standard Life). In Canada, both Manulife and Standard Life offer group retirement and group benefits services, as well as individual wealth products.

The Bureau concluded that this transaction is unlikely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition due to, among other things, the presence of effective remaining competitors in the marketplace for individual wealth products, group benefits and group retirement services.

A NAL confirms that the Bureau has reviewed the proposed transaction and concluded that it will not, at this time, challenge that proposed transaction before the Competition Tribunal under the merger provisions of the Competition Act.

Quick facts

  • Group retirement services generally consist of group pension and retirement savings plans provided by employers for employees.
  • Group benefits services are the provision of benefits for a group of individuals through a single contract. Group benefits plans are often provided by an employer for its employees. Benefits covered under a plan may include health, dental, short-term disability, long-term disability, accidental death and dismemberment, or life insurance.
  • Individual wealth products consist of a broad array of personal savings and investment products, such as savings bonds, treasury bills, segregated funds, annuities, tax free saving accounts, registered saving products and mutual funds.
  • As part of our normal approach in examining a merger, the Bureau consults with a wide range of industry participants, such as suppliers, competitors, industry associations, customers and industry experts.


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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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