The Competition Bureau’s Merger Notification Unit announced on March 19, 2019 that the filing fee for merger notifications under the Competition Act will increase to $73,584, effective April 1, 2019.

This increase marks the first annual adjustment since the merger filing fee was raised from C$50,000 to C$72,000 on May 1, 2018. Prior to last year’s increase, the filing fee had remained fixed at C$50,000 since 2003. As a result of section 17 of Canada’s Service Fees Act, SC 2017, government service fees (including the Bureau’s merger filing fee) are now adjusted annually in line with the change in the Consumer Price Index for Canada.

Advance notification of mergers, acquisitions or other transactions is required under the Competition Act where certain size-of-transaction and size-of-parties thresholds are met, as well as some additional requirements in the case of particular transaction types (such as a shareholding threshold in the case of share acquisitions). For further details on these thresholds, see our Merger Notification Assessment Tool in Stikeman Elliott’s Canadian Competition and Foreign Investment Outlook 2019 publication. Where a proposed transaction meets these thresholds for notification, the parties must file a pre-merger notification with the Competition Bureau, or seek an Advance Ruling Certificate (ARC); a merger filing fee is required in either case.

The filing fee for merger notifications is designed to help the Bureau cover the cost of conducting merger reviews within the timeframe of its service standards.