Costs of Not Having a Competition Law

The lack of a competition law in Guatemala could expose the country to sanctions from the European authorities, since it is a requirement demanded in the regulations of the Association Agreement with the European Union.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Since the end of 2016, the Association Agreement (AdA) required Guatemala to have a law on the matter, since in 2019 a Central American competition authority would have to be created. However, it cannot operate, because there is no legal framework.

You may be interested in "Guatemala: Competition Law Goes Ahead

Jesús Bores, a specialist in competition law, told Prensalibre.com that "... one of the great risks for Guatemala is that it could be sanctioned for failing to comply with the regulations within the framework of the AdA."

Álvaro Fernández Sánchez, Director of Competition at the Guatemalan Ministry of Economy, explained that "... no de facto measures have been reached, but the European Union has expressed through different diplomatic channels the need to have this legal instrument."

According to deputies of the Guatemalan Congress, in the coming weeks the bill is expected to go to second reading, to try to approve it in third reading before the end of 2019. If this deadline is not met, the approval will remain in the hands of the new legislature, which will assume its functions on January 14, 2020.

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More on this topic

Guatemala: Competition Law Goes Ahead

March 2018

After making more than 40 amendments to the previous project, the legislative commission will be presenting a proposal and expects the process to move forward without further modifications.

The Economy Commission of the Congress of the Republic reported that they presented a second opinion on the Competition Law initiative, and took the opportunity to explain that among the parties that participated in the work room, they agreed that the topic will be addressed in a single reading and no last minute amendments will be presented.

Guatemala: Draft Law on Competition

May 2016

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.

Guatemala: Customs Union with Honduras Approved

January 2016

The decree approved by the Guatemalan Congress was the missing step needed to implement the free movement of people and goods between the two Central American countries.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Trade:

Guatemala, January 22, 2016. The Congress of Guatemala yesterday approved a Protocol Enabling the Deep Integration towards the free movement of people and goods between the Republics of Guatemala and Honduras.

Guatemala: Finally a Law on Competition?

January 2016

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.

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