A program of "clemency" for companies that cooperate with information on anticompetitive practices in the sector is part of what is being proposed for the bill that will be analyzed in Congress.
The bill presented by the Ministry of Economy in May 2015 is being discussed in Congress, where they are working on a draft with changes to the text. The proposed leniency regime"... could include economic agents that take part in or have become involved in anticompetitive practices and who intend to cooperate with the investigations."
The bill presented to Congress creates the Superintendency of Competition which will be able to investigate business practices in order to punish them if they are anti-competitive.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Economy:
The Minister of Economy, Ruben Morales, presented the draft Competition Act to Congress, to regulate Articles 43, 119 and 130 of the Constitution of the Republic, in order to promote economic efficiency and fulfill the commitment made in the Association Agreement with the European Union.
There is a proposal to exclude the electricity, telecommunications, banking and agribusiness sectors from the law proposal on competition, since they are already subject to regulation.
The proposal put forward by CABI to exclude these sectors is based on the fact that companies operating in these areas are already subject to regulation and supervision. Paulo de Leon, analyst at the CABI, told Elperiodico.com.gt, for example, that in the case of agribusiness, not excluding them, "... would affect rising food prices and cost of the Basic Food Basket, food insecurity, and other things. " In the case of other sectors, according to De Leon, controls to prevent abuse of competition are already made by supervisory bodies such as the Superintendency of Telecommunications.
The authorities have until November 31, 2016 to approve a law for the promotion and defence of competition.
The European Union needed to demand a Competition Law in the Association Agreement with Central America in order for Guatemala, the only country in the region not to have rules in this area, to bring the country up to date in this area.
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. "
The Superintendency of Competition is investigating whether the mills El Angel and La Magdalena carried out operations that could be considered economic concentration.
From a statement issued by the Superintendency of Competition (SC):
SC launches an investigation against two mills
The Superintendency of Competition has initiated an investigation against the operators Ingenio El Angel SA de CV and Ingenio La Magdalena, SA de CV, to determine whether or not they infringed the Competition Act by having operations that could be considered economic concentration, without requesting approval from this Office, which they are obliged to do.
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 only country in the region that does not have policies on competition needs to legislate before November 2016 in order to trade with the European Union using the Association Agreement.
Year after year the Guatemalan private sector insists on the need for a competition law to help promote foreign investment and to establish a regulatory framework to prevent market barriers and benefit consumers.
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.
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