Guatemala's Congress is in the process of enacting a
Competition Lawbefore the year ends. A November 30 deadline has
been set in the EU-Central America Association Agreement
("Association Agreement"). Unlike the rest of Latin
America Guatemala does not have a Competition Law.
The Association Agreement was signed by the European Union and
its Central American counterparts (Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) June 19, 2012. Under
Section 279 of the Association Agreement, member states agreed to
adopt or maintain complete competition laws in order to effectively
deal with anticompetitive practices, such as cartels, price fixing,
abuse of market domain and concentrations, among others. They also
agreed to have a Competition Authority.
While there are certain competition law principles set in the
Guatemalan Constitution, Commercial Code and Penal Code, Guatemala
does not have legislation that implements those principles, nor a
Competition Authority. Thus, the European Union counterpart to the
Association Agreement is expecting the adoption of new legislation
The Guatemalan Executive did submit a proposed Competition Law
Bill before Congress earlier this year. But there are several other
Competition Law bills in Congress and to this date, there is no
certainty as to what the legislation to be adopted by Congress will
Given the impact that the new legislation may have on commercial
practices, mergers & acquisitions andthe economy, the business
community has its eyes opened wide for the next couple of
In the meantime, some big questions remain open: (i) How will
the Competition authority be appointed?; (ii) how will it be
funded?; (iii) will mergers and concentrations require preapproval?
For those who are interested, our firm will continue tobe closely
monitoring these events in Guatemala. We will keep you posted!
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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