News & Publications

Price Fixing

ONCA holds that umbrella purchasers have a cause of action in a price-fixing class action

Written by on December 20, 2018.

Shah v LG Chem Ltd., 2018 ONCA 819 Background: In this class action, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants conspired to fix the prices of lithium-ion batteries (“LIBs”) in North America and elsewhere between January 2000 and December 2011. As a result, the plaintiffs paid higher prices for LIBs and products containing LIBs than they would have in a competitive market. The plaintiffs raised several causes of action, including unlawful means conspiracy and a statutory cause of actio...

Class Actions Team Ranked in Band 1 in Chambers Canada 2019

Written by on September 24, 2018.

The class actions team at Siskinds LLP has been ranked in the top band of the Chambers Canada 2019 guide, issued by international legal research organization, Chambers and Partners. Also of notable achievement was the inclusion of four partners who were recognized for their individual stature in the field of class actions. Commentary from the guide includes the following accolades for these partners: Charles Wright is considered one of the "most effective business people" in the Canadian p...

Update: SCC Grants Leave to Appeal on Umbrella Purchaser Issue

Written by on June 18, 2018.

A recent hot topic in price-fixing class actions has been whether so-called “umbrella purchasers” have a cause of action. See our recent articles here and here. Umbrella purchasers are individuals who purchased the affected product from  non-conspirator manufacturers. In support of umbrella purchaser claims, plaintiffs argue that cartel members dominated  the relevant market to such an extent that they were able to drive up prices across the entire market. As a result, non-conspirator manu...

The Role of Class Actions in Price-Fixing Enforcement

Written by on February 21, 2018.

Introduction I’ve spent my legal career acting for plaintiffs in price-fixing class actions, a somewhat obscure niche which, until recently, simultaneously confounded and fascinated most people I met. Last fall, the Canadian Competition Bureau raided the offices of several major grocery chains, investigating a fourteen-year price-fixing conspiracy affecting bread prices. This aroused the public’s interest in price-fixing, illegal cartels, and the related criminal and civil legal processes...

Linda Visser Quoted in The Lawyer’s Daily About Price Fixing Case

Written by and on October 26, 2017.

Linda Visser was interviewed by the Lawyer's Daily this month to provide insight into Airia Brands Inc. v. Air Canada, a price fixing case. Read the full article here.  

The Court of Appeal for Ontario Provides Welcome Clarity on Certification of International Classes

Written by on October 26, 2017.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario released its much-anticipated decision in the Airia Brands Inc. v. Air Canada air cargo price-fixing litigation last week. The Court was asked to determine the test for jurisdiction over non-resident class members and whether the test was met in this case. Siskinds LLP acted for the Plaintiffs/Appellants (non-resident class members), who prevailed on appeal. Background In 2006, the Appellants commenced a proposed class action alleging that the Respondent ai...

Court Grants Leave to Appeal on Umbrella Purchaser Issue

Written by on September 06, 2017.

Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology v Hitachi, Ltd., 2017 ONSC 2791 In Fanshawe v Hitachi, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to fix the prices for CRT (an older technology used in televisions and computer monitors).  The plaintiff alleges breach of the Competition Act, RSC 1985, c C-34 (the “Competition Act”), and the tort of unlawful means conspiracy based on the alleged breach of the Competition Act. In August 2016, the Ontario court certi...

Class Action Case Comment: Mancinelli v Royal Bank of Canada, 2017 ONSC 87

Written by on March 30, 2017.

Background: In this proposed class action brought under Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, 1992, SO 1992, c 6 (the “CPA”), the plaintiffs allege that the defendant financial institutions conspired with each other to fix prices in the market for foreign exchange instruments.  The plaintiffs allege that the defendants carried out their conspiracy by communicating directly on multiple chat rooms at Bloomberg LP with names such as “The Cartel,” “The Bandits’ Club,” and “The Mafi...

Court of Appeal Hears Jurisdiction Motion in Airia Brands

Written by on January 03, 2017.

In December 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal heard an appeal in Airia Brands v Air Canada.  The result of this appeal will have significant impact on the viability of global class actions commenced in Ontario and on the application of the real and substantial connection test in the context of a proposed global class action. Airia Brands relates to allegations that the defendants unlawfully engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to fix prices of air cargo shipping services. The action was certifi...

Ontario Courts Ensure Access to Justice for Victims of Illegal Cartels

Written by on August 19, 2016.

Four recent decisions from the Ontario courts affirm the importance of preserving remedies for plaintiffs impacted by unlawful conspiracies. The decisions relate to four separate price-fixing conspiracies involving LCD panels (used in televisions, computer monitors and notebook computers), lithium-ion batteries (used in various electronic products, including mobile phones and notebook computers), CRTs (an older technology used in televisions and computer monitors), and shipments of cargo by air....