The Competition Act (Landsverordening inzake Concurrentie) became effective on September 1, 2017 and followed similar steps taken by other small countries in the Caribbean, such as Barbados, Jamaica and the Bahamas. The Competition Act includes a cartel prohibition (on restrictive agreements between businesses), a prohibition on abuse of a dominant position and merger control rules.
The Curaçao competition rules are partly drawn from the EU rules on competition, but differ to some extent to take into account Curaçao specific circumstances. For example, as Curaçao is a small island economy, dominance is more likely to occur, and so is the risk on abuse of a dominant position. On the basis of the specially designed dominance rules the competition authority has the power to impose measures to prevent abuse (e.g. non-discrimination obligations or duty to deal).
As to merger control, acquisitions of control and mergers have to be reported to the Fair Trade Authority Curaçao if:
(i) the aggregate turnover of the businesses concerned in the past calendar year exceeds NAF 125 million, of which at least two of the businesses concerned have achieved at least NAF 15 Million in Curaçao (1 USD = NAF 1,79), or (ii) the merger creates or strengthens a market share of 30% or more for the companies concerned on one or more relevant markets in Curaçao.
The merger control rules do not include a requirement that qualifying acquisitions or mergers must be approved.