Antitrust regulations in Colombia have changed recently with the provisions included in Decree 266, dated February 22nd, 2000. Article 118 of said decree amended Article 4 of Law 155 of 1959, which regulates restrictive business practices in our country.

Article 118 of Decree 266 provides : "The Superintendency of Industry and Trade must issue a decision regarding the merger, consolidation, integration and acquisition of control of companies which jointly represent 25% or more of the respective market, or which assets exceed fifty thousand (50.000) legal minimum wages1, in cases required by regulations regarding restrictive business practices. In addition to the causes included in applicable regulations, the transactions must be objected when they constitute the means of obtaining a dominant position within the market."

Pursuant to the above mentioned provision, the Superintendency of Industry and Trade, which is the entity empowered by Decree 2153 of 1992 to guard the compliance of the regulations on competition promotion and restrictive business practices in the national market, by means of External Circular 2 of 2000 established the information that must be submitted to this entity when conducting an antitrust filing in the cases established in Article 118 of Decree 266 of 2000. This information includes, among other things, the description of the transaction, the identification of the market (products, consumers, competitors and geographic area), identification and description of suppliers and distribution channels.

Once the respective Antitrust Filing is presented before the Superintendency of Industry and Trade, this entity has thirty (30) working days to answer said petition.

The Superintendency of Industry and Trade may require any additional information needed in order to analyze the information included in the Antitrust Filing. In case additional information is required, the thirty (30) working days term will start over on the date in which this information is provided.

If the Superintendency of Industry and Trade fails to answer the petition within the term granted by the law for such purpose, the administrative positive silence will come into effect. This means that it shall be legally presumed that the Superintendency has granted the authorization to proceed with the Proposed Transaction.

1. One minimum monthly wage is equal to COL$260,100, that is, approximately, US$123. Fifty thousand (50,000) legal minimum wages are equal to COL$ 13,005’000,000, or US$6.15 million. This amount has been calculated using an exchange rate of 2.118,57 COL$/US$, and it may vary according to the fluctuations of the exchange rate.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide but specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.