Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by John Duns, Arlen Duke and Brendan Sweeney
Chapter 17: Latin American antitrust law and policy: An overview of three jurisdictions – Brazil, Chile and Colombia
It has become almost a commonplace to say that, nowadays, more than 100 jurisdictions have adopted competition regimes. Within this context, Latin America is not the exception. So far, 22 countries have enacted national competition laws. Also, supranational competition statutes have been enacted within the framework of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Mercado Común del Sur (Mercosur). Furthermore, several of these jurisdictions have recently amended their competition laws or are currently discussing the introduction of changes, with the aim of making the regimes stronger. At first glance, competition law and policy in Latin America seems booming. The microscopic reality is fairly different. There is a large disparity in how active and successful Latin American competition law regimes have been in shaping good policies and/or applying state-of-the-art legal and economic standards. In fact, most of them are ineffective. Although reasons vary, arguably a central one is the widespread reliance on the United States (US) and/or the European Union (EU) systems as main sources of reference for the creation or enhancement of competition regimes, without careful consideration of native realities. This goes against the general consensus on the idea that antitrust should be locally rooted, depending on the underlying economic conditions. The scarcity of comparative works focusing specifically on Latin American regimes may be negatively contributing to such trend.
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