Supreme Court of Canada grants leave to appeal regarding indirect purchaser issues

1 décembre 2011

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On December 1, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal in the British Columbia Court of Appeal decisions Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v. Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) (2011 BCCA 186) and Sun-Rype Products Ltd. v. Archer Daniels Midland Company (Sun-Rype) (2011 BCCA 187). Microsoft and Sun-Rype were two to one majority decisions concluding for the first time in Canada that indirect purchasers of allegedly price-fixed products have no cause of action recognized in law. (see our earlier post titled: Court of Appeal for British Columbia bars indirect purchaser suits.)

Earlier this month the Québec Court of Appeal in Option Consommateurs v. Infineon Technologies AG (2011 QCCA 2116), unanimously overturning a Superior Court decision that had denied a motion to authorize class action proceedings, allowed indirect plaintiffs to proceed with their price-fixing suit, expressly disagreeing with the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s rulings in Microsoft and Sun-Rype that such plaintiffs have no claim in law. (see our earlier post titled:Québec Court of Appeal authorizes price-fixing class action involving indirect purchasers.)

These appeals will mark the first time the highest court in Canada will consider this issue in the context of competition class actions.

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