Anti-monopoly law goes into effect for large businesses

Larger Costa Rica companies now must receive permission if they seek to purchase or merge with another firm.

That is the thrust of legislation that went into effect Friday, six months after it had been published.  This is Law 9072, which requires authorization by the Comisión para Promover la Competencia of any purchase or merger if the firm has an annual income of $15 million or more.

The legislation seeks to prevent a monopoly, according to the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio which still is seeking public comment.

The law also establishes the right of positive silence, a legal concept that allows company executives to assume that their deal has been approved if there is not notice from the commission in 30 days.

The commission is authorized to place conditions on sales or mergers.

There are stiff fines for failing to consult the commission.

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