On August 30, 2016, the Argentine Antitrust Commission (“CNDC”) has opened a public consultation process for its draft bill reforming its competition law.

The main characteristics of the draft bill include:

  1. Institutional framework
    • The creation of an independent agency, the National Competition Authority (the “ANC”), as a decentralized and independent agency within the sphere of the Argentine Government.
    • The ANC´s 5 members will be: a President and 4 commissioners, all of them requiring technical background and suitability. They will have 5 years-long terms and can only be removed with certain proper justification.
  1. Sanctions/Leniency
    • The implementation of new criteria for the determination of fines.
    • Calculation of Fines: up to 30% of the business volume of the affected markets, multiplied by the number of years of the duration of the conduct.
    • Limit: 10% of the economic group´s international business volume, taking into account the previous financial year.
    • Second offence: doubles the fine.
    • The creation of a Leniency Program.
  1. Pre-merger control
    • The implementation of a pre-merger control regime.
    • The update and modification of the notification thresholds and the methods used for their calculation.
    • The introduction of a fast track mechanism for certain transactions.
  1. Damages
    • It allows for damages suits as a consequence of infringements to the competition regulations.
  1. Judicial review
    • The creation of the National Antitrust Court of Appeals, which will act as the competent court in matters regarding appeals to the ANC´s decisions.

The deadline for submitting the comments is September 30, 2016.

 


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