Argentine Antitrust Commission opens Consultation Process for Draft Bill

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. 
2. 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. 
3. 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. 
4. Damages
• It allows for damages suits as a consequence of infringements to the competition regulations.
5. 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.

For further information on this topic please contact Julián Peña