New Law on Competition in Costa Rica

The Law on Promotion of Competition and Effective Consumer Protection recently approved typifies monopolistic practices and changes the rules on economic groups.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Two of the most important changes are expanding the scope of the law, which now includes public service employees in cases of concessions and the introduction of a new absolute monopolistic practice: the agreement between competitors to 'refuse to buy or sell goods or services'.

"In terms of relative monopolistic practices, the reform includes important changes. Firstly, it criminalizes some practices prohibited in most competition laws, such as the refusal to deal, price discrimination and increased costs to competitors.

Additionally, other practices which are established in international benchmarks are not so clear, and rather seems to obey a very specific situation of the Costa Rican market. These "new" behaviors include the imposition of a brand to be used in a product and the establishment of conditions other than commercial usage", writes Pamela Sittenfeld in her article in

The new legislation includes a process of prior notification of concentrations. Prior to a merger or acquisition, the parties must apply for authorization from the Commission to Promote Competition, which may approve, condition or deny the merger.

More on this topic

How Antitrust Law in Costa Rica Works

July 2013

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

Mergers and Monopolies in Costa Rica

September 2011

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.

Costa Rica: New Competition Law Comes Into Force

November 2010

The reform, published in the Official Journal, includes regulations for advertising.

It provides an effective process to procedures due to complaints from consumers.

"It also creates the 'consumer associations net ' as an impulse from the state to organized civil societies, and designating the Department of Consumer Advocacy as the entity which will coordinate the efforts between these organizations and public institutions," according to

Competition Law in Guatemala

October 2010

"The monopoly itself is not the problem, the problem is the abuse that is committed" Erick Coyoy, Minister of Economy.

The main priorities set by the Minister of Economy revolve around the obligations of the country and the region, the agreements reached with the European Union, which refer to integration of the isthmus and in particular customs and promoting market competition.