Testing the Foundations: Six Lessons from the Competition Bureau's Investigation into the Construction Industry

WeirFoulds LLP, Client Update | FEBRUARY 4, 2013

Last week, the media released a 50-page search warrant application that the Competition Bureau filed with the Court in March, 2012. In its application, the Bureau alleges longstanding price-fixing and market allocation agreements among companies that pour concrete foundations for new homes – allegations which, if true, present serious criminal and civil risks for the targets of the investigation. The Bureau further alleges that the conspiracies were facilitated by the trade association that represents the companies and individuals who pour the concrete foundations.

These allegations may be the "foundation" of what is to become a larger-scale effort to crack down on other anti-competitive activity in the construction industry. Participants in this industry need to educate themselves and develop strategies to avoid violating the Competition Act. Some companies and trade associations may already be operating under agreements or policies that are illegal, without realizing the gravity of their actions. The consequences of getting caught are too serious to ignore.

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