Running counter to a recommendation from the OECD to strengthen the independence and resources of work by the bodies that oversee competition, the Ministry of Finance will be intervening in the Commission's own tasks.
An article on Crhoy.com reports that "... A restructuration managed from the office of the Minister of Economy, Welmer Ramos, has resulted in the temporary disintegration of the Commission for the Promotion of Competition (COPROCOM) from 1 July. "
In Costa Rica the regulatory body has agreed to the commitment made by Essilor Internacional not to distort the market by blocking raw materials or price discrimination, as a condition for the purchase of Grupo Vision.
From a statement issued by the Commission to Promote Competition (COPROCOM):
The Costa Rican State insurance company will have to pay $174,000 as a penalty for "improving any offer made by their competition to their customers."
The Antitrust Commission imposed a fine of 94 million colones ($174,000) on Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) in a case reported by the Superintendent of Insurance in 2011, a year after the opening up of the market.
The Commission to Promote Competition in Costa Rica has approved the purchase of 100% of the shares of the company Incesa by OC International Hondings.
Elfinancierocr.com publishes "The request made by OC International was presented on May 7 and once the required documentation had been submitted they proceeded to analyze the appropriateness of the transaction in the light of the provisions of the Competition Act."
Four months ago mergers and acquisitions in Costa Rica were conducted without any governmental control.
Now, operations of this type over $15 million must be authorized by the Commission to Promote Competition (COPROCOM) in the first four months of rule of law, four mergers or acquisitions of companies have been authorized
As of April 5 mergers and acquisitions will have to be approved at the Antitrust Commission, part of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade, before they can take place.
From that date, the Antitrust Commission, at the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), will have the power to approve or deny deals, if it is concluded that they would result in undue concentration of business. The activities which must be reported to this Committee are those in which the assets of the companies involved exceed $15 million.
In Costa Rica the Commission to Promote Competition has fined Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and Continental Continex for "obviously anticompetitive conduct."
Faced with a complaint lodged by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), the Commission to Promote Competition (COPROCOM) at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, fined each company $236 thousand, for "obviously anticompetitive conduct."
The Commission to Promote Competition has opened an investigation into the international company, which has been accused by pork producers in Costa Rica of setting the prices of pork cuts below the market price.
The Commission to Promote Competition (COPROCOM) agreed to initiate a preliminary investigation against the supermarket chain Wal-Mart for alleged monopolistic practices, reported Nacion.com.
The total exclusivity requirement imposed by the National Institute of Insurance on agencies who sell their insurance, is an anticompetitive mechanism that is making it difficult for the market to open up.
In his blog " Mercado Seguro " in Elfinancierocr.com, attorney and insurance specialist Said Breedy analyzes the criteria issued by the Commission to Promote Competition (COPROCOM) on the exclusivity clause in agency contracts with the National Institute Insurance (INS) in place since 2007.
While the market is concentrated in only four companies, according to figures for the rice year 2010-2011, Ana Victoria Velasquez, director of the Directorate of Support of Competition under the Ministry of Economy, Industry and trade (MEIC), states that this does not violate any laws.
The company Mabeca has filed an appeal citing unconstitutionality with the Sala IV (Constitutional Court) of Costa Rica, claiming disproportionality in the fine of $2.3 million that has been applied to them.
In August 2011, the Commission to Promote Competition under the Costa Rican Ministry of Economy, found that after the acquisition of Atlas Eléctrica by Mexican company Mabe in 2008, there was a "prohibited concentration" according to the law for promoting competition and consumer protection, and imposed a fine of $2.3 million.
In order to avoid paying penalties after a merger it is possible to obtain endorsement of the operation from the Commission to Promote Competition (COPROCOM).
A statement from the COPROCOM reads:
In Costa Rica, unlike most countries with greater developments in Competition Law, control of concentrations is provided for after the event, ie, once the transaction has occurred. In contrast, prior notification of concentrations is the most frequently used mechanism to control concentrations, being more effective as a preventive tool, since it avoids the difficulties of dismantling an operation that has already taken place.
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