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On March 7, 2024, Public Safety Canada updated its Guidance on the application of Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (Supply Chains Act). Businesses operating in Canada are encouraged to review the key changes summarized below to confirm that their assessment of reporting obligations continue to align with Public Safety Canada’s Guidance. The deadline for submitting reports under the Supply Chains Act is 31 May 2024.

On 26 March 2024, the IRS Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement (APMA) Program issued their 25th annual Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) report describing the experience, structure, and activities of the APMA Program during calendar year 2023. The report provides statistical information about the numbers of APA applications received and resolved during the year, including countries involved and transfer pricing methods employed. This article identifies key takeaways based on the data from the report and our experience advising companies during the APA process.

Esparza v. Kohl’s, Inc., confirms that sharing electronic data with third-party applications or service providers without the website visitor’s consent creates a risk of lawsuits and potential liability for website defendants in states that require all parties to consent to interception of communications.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued its highly anticipated final rule on noncompetes, imposing a near-total ban on worker noncompetes in the United States. Barring injunctive relief from legal challenges (which have already started), the rule will take effect 120 days from publication in the federal register.

On April 10, 2024, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced that it had secured a guilty plea from a fuel truck company owner for conspiracy to monopolize trade in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. This policy shift has expanded the scope of the DOJ’s criminal antitrust enforcement agenda. Accordingly, companies should ensure that their employees are properly complying with antitrust regulations and continue to monitor as this revived area of antitrust law develops.

The Canadian Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) has announced a significant initiative to explore the effects of artificial intelligence (“AI”) on competition in Canada. On 20 March 2024, the Bureau published a discussion paper, entitled “Artificial intelligence and competition” (“Discussion Paper”), and has requested feedback from the public. The Bureau is seeking to better understand how AI can affect competition in Canada. Submissions are due by 4 May 2024.

On 9 April 2024, Treasury released two sets of proposed regulations regarding the excise tax on repurchases of corporate stock under section 4501. The proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register on 12 April 2024. Comments are due on the procedural matters by 13 May 2024, but taxpayers have until 11 June 2024 to submit comments on the substantive guidance.

In January 2024, the Canadian Securities Administrators published amendments and changes to several national instruments and companion policies to implement a new non-mandatory access model for preliminary and final prospectuses of non-investment fund reporting issuers. The access model is not available for rights offerings, medium term note programs and other continuous distributions under a shelf prospectus. The amendments are effective 16 April 2024.

Both the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (collectively, “Agencies”) have submitted a joint Statement of Interest in a third-party dispute currently active in the Federal District of New Jersey. The Statement clarifies the Agencies’ positions on price fixing through the use of algorithms. The third-party dispute involves a class action against casino hotels in the Atlantic City, New Jersey area.

On March 6, 2024, the US Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final rules (“Final Rules”) that enhance and standardize the disclosure of climate-related information in registration statements and Exchange Act reports. The Final Rules were scaled back after years of significant feedback from registrants and other stakeholders, with the Commission receiving more than 24,000 comment letters in response to the initial rule proposal in March 2022.