Antitrust regulations in Colombia have changed recently with provisions included in Decree 266, dated February 22 2000. Article 118 of the decree amended Article 4 of Law 155 of 1959, regulating restrictive business practices.

Article 118 of Decree 266 provides :

"The Superintendency of Industry and Trade must issue a decision regarding the merger, consolidation, integration and acquisition of control of companies which jointly represent 25% or more of the respective market, or which assets exceed [50,000] legal minimum wages , in cases required by regulations regarding restrictive business practices. In addition to the causes included in applicable regulations, the transactions must be objected [to] when they constitute the means of obtaining a dominant position within the market."

Pursuant to the provision, the Superintendency of Industry and Trade (which is the entity empowered to ensure compliance with regulations on competition, promotion and restrictive business practices in the national market), determined the information that must be submitted when conducting an antitrust filing (by means of External Circular 2 of 2000). Information may include:

  • a description of the transaction;

  • identification of the market (eg, products, consumers, competitors and geographic area); and

  • identification and description of suppliers and distribution channels.

Once the respective antitrust filing is presented to the Superintendency of Industry and Trade, the superintendency has 30 working days to answer the petition. The superintendency may require additional information to analyze the information included in the filing. Where additional information is required, the 30-day period will begin again on the date the information is provided.

If the superintendency fails to answer the petition within the term granted, it will be legally presumed that the superintendency has granted the authorization to proceed with the transaction (ie, administrative 'positive silence').

For further information on this topic please contact Jean-Pierre Lenaerts at G√≥mez Pinzon & Asociados by telephone (+57 1 310 7055) or by fax (+57 1 310 6646) or by e-mail ([email protected]).

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