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.
Recently, a regulation on the Law on Promotion of Competition and Effective Consumer Defense, Law No. 7472 was amended, establishing the possibility of submitting to the COPROCOM a voluntary communication of a merger (Article 34 et seq.)
In this way operations by economic agents who wish to merge can be subjected to prior analysis by the COPROCOM in order to determine whether it could generate anticompetitive effects which would then imply the illegality of the transaction.
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 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.
Following the purchase of the Costa Rican company Atlas, the Mexican group Mabe has near total monopoly of the household appliances sector.
The Commission to Promote Competition in Costa Rican’s Ministry of Economy, found that after the acquisition of Atlas, there was a 'prohibited concentration", according to the law to promote competition and consumer protection.
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