Ministerial Agreement 099-2021 of the Ministry of Economy published on March 19 of this year in the Official Journal, released Resolution No. 441-2020 (COMIECO-XCIII) dated December 10, 2020, which approved the Central American Competition Regulation, which entered into force on March 10, 2021. The purpose of this Regulation is to promote regional competition through cooperation mechanisms and the promotion of competition, contributing to the development of economic activities and maximize the benefits of commercial freedom. The Regulation applies to cooperation and promotion activities at the regional level. Nothing in the Regulation shall prejudge the powers assigned by States Parties to their respective National Competition Authorities, which in Guatemala corresponds to the Vice-Ministry of Investment and Competition through the Promotion of Competition Office, of the Ministry of Economy.

Likewise, the Central American Competition Committee is established, responsible for implementing, and managing the work necessary to comply with the provisions and functions established in the regulation. It will be a technical forum for discussion on promoting cooperation and promotion of competition at the regional level within the framework of the legal instruments of the Economic Integration Subsystem. Provisions relating to the integration, functions, operation, and decisions of the Committee are provided for in the Regulation.

In addition, States Parties regulate, the principles of free competition and not distorted in their commercial relations, recognizing, that anti-competitive practices affect the proper functioning of markets and the benefits of commercial release; States also agree that the following is inconsistent with this Regulation, which may affect interregional commerce:

  1. Agreements between companies, decisions of associations of companies and the practices agreed between them that prevent, restrict, or distort competition.
  2. Any abuse, by one or more companies of a dominant position or substantial market power or significant market share; And
  3. Concentrations between companies that significantly hinder effective competition.

Regarding monopolies, public enterprises and enterprises holding special or exclusive rights, nothing in this Regulation shall prevent a State Party from designating or maintaining them in accordance with its national legislation.

Regional cooperation between States Parties is established to promote competitiveness at the regional level, and will therefore implement notifications on implementation activities, consultations, information exchange, technical assistance, and joint training as a cooperation mechanism in accordance with the legislation of each State.