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Deputy Superintendence for Protection of Competition


The Deputy for the Protection of Competition is a segment of the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, which aims for the efficiency of markets, free competition of agents in the economy and the general welfare of consumers.

This area, is in charge of performing administrative investigations when suspected presence of restrictive practices and promotes competition among market agents through the development of economic studies and competition advocacy functions.

The Deputy has a highly qualified staff that is constantly being trained and characterized for its commitment towards the country and for its intention to contribute to national economic and social development.

The Deputy is also responsible for conducting the analysis of mergers and other commercial transactions among enterprises. The latter in order to avoid, as a result of these operations, undue restrictions on competition that may result in economic power concentrations which unbalance proper competition and create distortions that lead to entrepreneurial behavioral coordination or strengthen a dominant position.

On the other hand this branch of the Superintendence a group called the Economic Research Group (GEE). This Group, based on technical criteria and strict standards, addresses economic strategic issues arising in the Superintendence and prepares market research in those sectors that, circumstantially, are more sensitive in the Colombian economy.

Finally, the Deputy is in charge of developing Advocacy Competition, which has a nationwide scope, as a mechanism for the promotion of competition.

FUNCTIONS

Competition is defined as a set of efforts developed by economic agents who, acting independently, rival and seek for the effective participation of their goods and services on a given market.

The Constitution of Colombia, establishes the principle of free competition as a national right for all citizens that intrinsically involves the assumption of responsibilities and subjection to legal limits.

According to Decree 4886 of 2011 the functions of the Deputy for the Protection of Competition are:

  • Advise the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce in the creation of policies related to their area.
  • Ensure compliance with the current competition rules and laws as well as proposing new provisions.
  • Support the Office of Consumer Services and Business Support in the development of activities involving disclosure, promotion and training of matters within the range of their competence.
  • Process, ex officio or at the request of a third party, preliminary inquiries and investigations to determine if the conducts constitute violations of the legal provisions on the protection of competition.
  • Process in accordance with the applicable statutory procedure, administrative investigations for unfair competition behaviors.
  • Submit to the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce, once the investigation has been conducted, the Reasoned Report that determines whether there has been an infringement of the competition protection rules and/or performance of restrictive practices.
  • Elaborate the Resolutions' drafts in which the investigations for violation of the rules on the protection of competition are decided, accordingly, to the guidelines and instructions imparted by the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce for every particular case.
  • Give notice to the regulation agencies as well as to the control and surveillance ones of each particular sector, about the opening of an investigation for restrictive commercial practices or a pertinent merger transaction in that sector, in accordance with the provisions of the law.
  • Follow up on the guarantees/remedies accepted by the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce on particular investigations for violation of the competition regime, as well as on the conditions established for developing a merger or another acquisition of control transaction.
  • Start and instruct the application process explanations for the alleged breach of the obligations arising from the acceptance of guarantees and of those deriving from mergers subject to conditions.
  • Develop the process related with the benefits of collaboration with the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce established under the Protection of Competition Law.
  • Start and instruct the process of explanations for the failure to comply duly information inquiries, orders and instructions given by the law, the obstruction of investigations or the failure to inform a merger or any other acquisition of control operation.
  • Process authorization requests for developing agreements or covenants, that although limit free competition, have as a purpose the preservation and stability of a basic economic sector which produces goods and services essential for the national economy, referred to in paragraph of article 1 of Law 155 of 1959, article 5 of Law 1340 of 2009 or other regulations that modify them.
  • Legally process, requests of transactions aiming for the acquisition of control of enterprises, regardless of the proposed transactions' legal form.
  • Present, within the legal standards, prior concept of the State regulation project's informed by the relevant authorities of each sector that may have an impact on competition.
  • Keep a record of the investigations and sanctions imposed, as well as of the commitments acquired during the development of these.
  • Decide, in a unique instance, any dispute arising from the election of directive board members in any Chamber of Commerce.
  • Develop economic and technical studies necessary for the fulfillment of the duties assigned to the Deputy.
  • Compile and periodically update the adopted decisions taken in protection of competition cases.
  • Decide on the reconsideration remedies and the direct requests filed against acts issued by themselves.
  • Regularly report to the Superintendent the state of the issues falling under their jurisdiction and the current implementation phase of their programs.
  • Any other duties assigned accordant to the Deputies' natural functions.

COMPETITION LAWS

The competition and restrictive practices regime in the Colombian legal system is contained mainly in Law 155 of 1959, Decree 2153 of 1992 and Law 1340 of 2009. These rules prohibit all conducts that may involve restrictions or limitations by market participants to the constitutional right of free competition, including procedures tending to determine the commission of the infractions and their correspondent penalties.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

The Deputy Superintendence for the Protection of Competition can cooperate with other Country's investigations or consults, when it is determined and when someone asks for specific information on the results of an investigation made by this Deputy.

On the other hand, this Deputy has signed several international agreements with entities such as:

  • The National Institution for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property-INDECOPI of Perú.
  • The Federal Competition and Economic Commission-CFCE of México.
  • The National Authority for the Protection of Consumers and the Defense of Competition of the Republic of Panamá- ACODECO.
  • The Ministry of Industry and Productivity of Ecuador-MIPRO
  • The National Competition Commission of Spain-CNC
  • The United Nations Program on Trade and Development-UNCTAD and the Swiss Economic Secretary- SECO. With them we are implementing the COMPAL Program since 2009.

In addition, this Deputy Superintendence is member of the following international organizations: Regional Competition Commission-CRC: Which is a regional organization conformed by other Latin America Competition Authorities that promotes the relationship between this agencies in terms of exchanging information and strengthening the cooperation among its participants.

In both of these organizations, we participate in monthly videoconference and we share our experiences in different competition topics.

  • International Competition Network: This is a network conformed by the private sector, national competition authorities from all around the world, academics and civil society organizations among others. The Deputy Superintendence for the Protection of Competition is part of the Carte Working Group-CWG, where we act as Co-Chairs, but we also participate in other groups such as the one on Mergers, where we attend Seminars and Videoconferences.

In both of these organizations, we participate in monthly videoconference and we share our experiences in different competition topics.