Controlling Mergers in Costa Rica

Analysis of the amendment to the Law for Promotion of Competition and Effective Defence of the Consumer which now establishes prior control of economic concentrations.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Competition Bulletin, the Antitrust Commission (COPROCOM):

"... a partial amendment has recently been approved to Law No. 7472, which introduces important changes in antitrust
regulations, consistent with international best practices

Prior control of economic concentrations

The reform includes the prior control of economic concentrations, therefore, operators will have to notify the COPROCOM to review mergers in which they may have to comply with any of the following conditions: that the sum total of the productive assets of all agents economic involved and its parent, exceeds thirty thousand minimum wages, or the sum of the total of the revenue generated in the country during the last fiscal year, of all the agents involved exceeds thirty thousand minimum wages.

The COPROCOM may authorize or deny concentrations. For authorization they may impose such conditions as it deems necessary to counteract the adverse effects on competition or encourage competitive effects. Additionally they can officially investigate and impose appropriate sanctions for anti-competitive effects and failure to communicate in those cases where they should have provided notification.

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Mergers and Monopolies in Costa Rica

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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.