All questions

Merger review

The Antitrust Law prohibits economic concentrations that may cause or enhance a dominant position in all or part of a market, or that may generate negative effects on competition, or democratisation of production, distribution or commercialisation of goods and services. Small and medium-sized enterprises, cooperatives and companies that form part of the communal economic system are exempt from this prohibition. The Law maintains the voluntary reporting status in cases of economic concentrations.

Economic concentration transactions of insurance, banking and telecommunications companies require prior authorisation from regulatory bodies.

i Significant cases

Since the entry into force of the Antitrust Law in November 2014, the Antitrust Superintendency has published no decisions as a result of administrative procedures or claims.

ii Trends, developments and strategies

The Guidelines for Economic Concentration Assessment (1999) will continue to be applied until the Antitrust Superintendency issues a regulation that includes a particular procedure.

A concentration is defined as a merger of previously independent undertakings; acquisition of sole control over another undertaking; or acquisition of joint control in a full function concentrative joint venture or existing undertaking.

The Antitrust Law defines 'control' as decisive influence over the activities of a company.

The revision of the threshold for economic concentrations transactions is the equivalent to 120,000 tax units (TU) (1 TU = 500 bolivars). It is measured in terms of domestic business volume of the companies involved.

iii Outlook

Venezuela is suffering an significant political crisis right now, which could imply eventual economic changes in order to recover the economy. If the socialist government holds power during this year, we do not foresee significant changes in the local market in the near future.