jueves, 31 de enero de 2008

CARICOM Competition Commission's inaguration

Mrs Elma Gene Isaac (Legal Officer, CARICOM Secretariat) kindly informed me that the CARICOM Competition Commission was inaugurated on January 18, 2008 in Paramaribo, Suriname. The ceremony included the swearing-in of the seven Commissioners who constitute the Commission. Following are their names and nationalities:

Dr. Kusha Haraksingh – Trinidad (Chairman)
Mr. Patterson K. H. Cheltenham Q.C. – Barbados
Mr. Hans R. Lim A Po – Suriname
Dr. Trevor M. A. Farrell – Trinidad
Dr. Maureen Paul – Dominica
Dr. Barton A. Scotland – Guyana
Ambassador Stewart Stephenson – Jamaica

domingo, 27 de enero de 2008

Call for contributors: "Quantitative effects of anti-competitive business practices on developing countries and their development prospects"

Call for contributors:

"Quantitative effects of anti-competitive business practices on developing countries and their development prospects"

UNCTAD is in the process of preparing the pre-conferences for the forthcoming UNCTAD XII Conference taking place in Accra, Ghana, in April 2008.

In this context UNCTAD is seeking contributions from experts and scholars to form part of an edited collection of essays specifically examining the topics mentioned below. The proposed research will fall within the broad theme of "Quantitative effects of anti-competitive business practices on developing countries and their development prospects". In exploring the nature of the impact of anti-competitive business practices, the emphasis will be on empirical research which will (i) measure the impact of restrictive business practices, (ii) estimate their effect on the development prospects for developing countries.

Research themes:

Anti-competitive practices and their adverse effects on competition law enforcement in Regulated Sectors
- How does restrictive business practices affect the access to these services within Utility sectors and can consumers really benefit from these in spite of concentration or monopolization?
- How has the introduction of competition law in the regulated sectors benefited the consumers?

Anti-competitive practices and their adverse effects on consumer welfare
- The interface between competition and consumer laws and policies.
- What are the estimated costs for end consumers originating from cartelization and how can these be measured?
- The conflicts between the attainment of competitive markets and consumer interests.
- What has been the level of participation of a typical consumer in developing country vis-a vis his relationship with the market economic system?

The role of competition law and policy in alleviating poverty in developing countries
- Do anti-competitive practices have a negative impact in achieving the aim of poverty reduction in developing countries?
-How has the adoption of competition law contributed in alleviating poverty?
- The need for developing countries to prioritise either the competition policy or poverty alleviation reforms

- How and to what extent competition law enhanced the social-economic benefits i.e. rising the level of employment in a country?

The contribution of competition policy in enhancing innovation and technological development
- Demonstrate how competition law enforcement has contributed to the enhancement of technological development.

Competition and its impact on the small-scale sector
- Does anti-competitive behaviour limit the individual's right of doing business and to what extent does it affect entrepreneurship and enterprise development in developing countries?
- How competitive is the small scale sector in the face of numerous multi-national corporations in the developing countries?
- Can the competition law be said to be an appropriate legislation for the small scale sector development?

Methodological approach:
The project envisages a qualitative and where possible quantitative impact analysis, supported by decisions taken by competition authorities or sectoral studies. The study will identify criteria to evaluate the impact of anti-competitive practices in developing countries as well as applied economic theory for the evaluation of the sectoral case studies. For instance, to develop quantitative or quatitative criteria to estimate the costs resulting from restrictive business practices on the society, its consumers and its impediment for economic development.

Application procedures and deadlines:
Qualified persons interested in contributing to this project should submit in electronic format:

- A first draft covering a topic relevant for the overall theme of 15000 words inclusive of footnotes.

- Short CV
Deadline for submission: Strictly 31 January 2008

Researchers (external consultants) based in developing countries, ideally affiliated with some institutions that could form the basis of a longstanding research partnership with UNCTAD are particularly encouraged to apply.

Selected candidates will receive a full description of the project with mid-term and final deadlines, financial compensation (around 3000 USD), and other relevant information.

To apply and for further details please contact Mr. George Lipimile or Mr.Novaes Fonseca via e-mail george.lipimile@unctad.org or vitor.novaes.fonseca@unctad.org

If you cannot contribute, please feel free to inform other qualified experts of this notice.
If the topic of your preference has not been included in the themes, you can seek authorisation to come up with a topic of your choice.

sábado, 12 de enero de 2008

Nueva ley de competencia en Panamá

La Asamblea Nacional de Panamá decretó la nueva ley que "dicta normas sobre protección al consumidor y defensa de la competencia y otra disposición" (Ley 45 de 2007). La ley fue promulgada por el Presidente el 31 de octubre de 2007 y publicada en la Gaceta No. 25914 del 7 noviembre de 2007.

La Ley 45 de 2007 renumera el Decreto-Ley No. 9 de 2006 e incluye algunas modificaciones sustanciales. Las principales modificaciones son las siguientes:

· El artículo 16 de la Ley 45 de 2007 incluye como práctica monopolística relativa el acaparamiento, ya sea unilateral o concertado.

· El inciso final del artículo 21 de la Ley 45 de 2007, precisa la denominada “excepción de industria fallida” o de “industria en quiebra” para el análisis de concentraciones económicas.

· El artículo 31 de la Ley 45 de 2007 establece que a los consumidores y a las asociaciones de consumidores “no se les podrá condenar en costas.”

· El artículo 104 de la Ley 45 de 2007 establece un “programa de clemencia” (leniency program, que también existe en Brasil y México) por medio de incentivos de reducción de penas para los investigados que aporten los primeros elementos de prueba.

· Asimismo, el artículo 104 de la Ley 45 de 2007 establece incentivos (25% del valor de las multas impuestas) para los terceros que denuncien la violación de la normativa.

· Finalmente, el artículo 104 de la Ley 45 de 2007 establece que el Ministerio de Comercio en Industrias deberá sancionar a los infractores reincidentes de la norma (persona natural o jurídica que sea sancionada en dos ocasiones por prácticas monopolísticas) por medio de la clausura de la licencia comercial o industrial.

La versión digital de la Gaceta puede ser consultada en el siguiente vínculo: http://www.gacetaoficial.gob.pa/pdfTemp/25914/7277.pdf

viernes, 11 de enero de 2008

Categorical Analysis in Antitrust Jurisprudence

MARK A. LEMLEY de Stanford Law School y CHRISTOPHER R. LESLIE de Chicago-Kent College of Law han publicado el borrador del documento "Categorical Analysis in Antitrust Jurisprudence" (Noviembre 2007) que hace un recuento de más de cien años de jurisprudencia del antitrust en Estados Unidos. A continuación trascribo el resumen del mismo:

"Abstract: Legal doctrines vary in the extent to which they apply either detailed, categorical rules or broad, open-ended standards that allow for case-specific adjudication. Antitrust law is generally thought of as inhabiting the standards end of this spectrum. In fact, however, despite the generality of the enabling statutes antitrust law is rife with categorical distinctions. In Part I, we explore not only the well-known distinction between conduct that is per se illegal and conduct judged under the rule of reason, but also a number of categorical distinctions the courts draw, either to help delineate the scope of the per se rule or to create distinctions within the scope of the rule of reason itself. By and large these rules don't come from the antitrust statutes. They are created by courts, who are in effect converting case-specific standards en masse into categorical rules.In Part II, we identify a number of problems with these distinctions. One problem is administrative: courts spend a great deal of time trying to parse conduct in order to put it on one side or another of the lines they have created. Indeed, in many cases courts spend more time on categorization than they do on actual economic analysis of the case itself. Second, judicial antitrust categories are subject to manipulation. Parties go to great lengths to fit into a box that will give them more favorable treatment, sometimes by legal argument, sometimes by restructuring a transaction, and sometimes by concealing or misrepresenting the facts of that transaction. Third, a number of the categories the courts have created make no sense, whether because they have lost their meaning over time, because their boundaries have eroded, because they actually tell us very little of relevance to the competitive effects of the transaction, or because they are simply dumb. The net result is a mess. Categories have become conclusions, displacing the fact-specific economic analysis in which antitrust law is supposed to be engaging.In Part III, we argue that there is a better way. We evaluate the costs and benefits of the judicial creation of categories, and contend that the complex of antitrust boxes the courts have created today does more harm than good. We don't mean to suggest there is no value to categories, and that everything must be thrown into a pure cost-benefit analysis. Some rules (the per se rule against price fixing, for instance) make sense. Rather, the important thing is to make sure that the categories we use have empirical support, and that they are communicating valuable information to courts about the competitive effects of a general practice. We think the courts have gone too far in the creation of rules in a variety of cases. Finally, we suggest that courts make more use than they do of certain tools – the doctrine of direct economic effect and empirical evidence – as powerful filters for distinguishing good from bad antitrust claims."