Ruling ‘reaffirms the broad investigative discretion’ of Quebec financial watchdog: lawyer

Fabrice Benoît

April 24, 2023

A recent ruling by the Québec Court of Appeal against Apple Canada reaffirms the broad investigative discretion of Québec’s financial watchdog, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).

This ruling comes following the investigation into Apple Canada’s insurance and financial products and services distribution activities launched by the AMF in March 2021. In this case, the AMF issued a subpoena that ordered it to disclose information and documents relating to AppleCare+ offered in Québec, with the purchase of various Apple products, an investigation which was largely contested by Apple.  

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal of Québec deemed that the AMF, the regulator, acted within the exercise of its discretionary powers conferred by legislation, therefore rejecting Apple’s contestation.

Fabrice Benoît, a partner in Osler’s Litigation Practice , tells Law360 Canada that this ruling sets a precedent in Québec. “It is an important judgment because it is one of the few judgments by the Québec Court of Appeal that reaffirms the broad investigative discretion of the AMF, and as such, commands deference. In other words, the AMF has exclusive jurisdiction. Therefore, the court is going to be very reluctant to interfere with the AMF’s decision to investigate and send subpoenas under its broad investigative powers,” says Fabrice, who was the Investigation Director — Insider Trading and Market Manipulation at the AMF before joining Osler.

For more information, read Luis Millan’s full article “Ruling ‘reaffirms the broad investigative discretion’ of Québec financial watchdog: lawyer” in Law360 Canada.