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Argentina’s CNDC, Lacking the “Big Guns” in the Fight Against Monopolies

 |  July 11, 2017

By: Alexis Pirchio

Argentina’s Competition Law dates back to 1999, with its latest round of tweaks and addenda in 2014. At the time of its writing, at the dawn of the new Millennium, this was a modern, ground-breaking legislation, based on international Best Practices and advocating for more robust institutions that might make a more independent National Competition Authority possible.

Eighteen years on, and even the recent changes made in 2014 were not enough to keep the National Commission for the Defense of Competition (CNDC) at the vanguard in the world of anti-trust. There are three main reasons for this. First, the world’s leading competition authorities began to implement a series of tools that today are vital in the field of cartel detection, such as leniency or immunity programs or market research, neither of which were part of the 2014 reforms. Second, the 1999 law had been written in the context of macroeconomic stability, and so it made sense to set the guideline fine limits and the thresholds for notifying of mergers based on non-revisable peso amounts. The profound macroeconomic shifts that have rocked the country since then have made this approach untenable, in urgent need of change. And finally, we must consider the chronic institutional weakening and destruction wrought by the Kirchnerista administrations and their effect on competition policy.

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