Antitrust Leniency Program in Nicaragua

May 27, 2021 | English Blog

In order to ensure competition practices among the various economic agents, which leads to prohibiting and punishing monopolistic actions in the national economy that tend to harm competition and consumer rights, the Board of Directors of the National Institute for the Promotion of The Competition approved the Regulation of the Clemency Program of the National Institute for the Promotion of Competition through Ministerial Regulation No. 31, published in La Gaceta, Official Gazette No. 45 of March 05, 2021.

The Regulation establishes the procedure that economic agents must follow in order to access the exemption benefit granted by Law 601 “Law on the Promotion of Competition” in its article 48, the cessation of anti-competitive practices, the reversal of the effects negative effects caused to competition and the reestablishment of the competitive process.

The Clemency program allows the participating member of a cartel to receive the benefit of exempting themselves from paying the fine that corresponds to them for having carried out collusive anticompetitive practices with other competitors in the market.

To access these benefits, whoever has intervened in a collusion must provide the authority with information that leads to the accreditation of said anti-competitive practice and the determination of those responsible. Having as a requirement that the beneficiary of the clemency is not the promoter of the cartel.

It is important to note that to obtain the Clemency Benefit, the applicant must not only provide accurate, truthful and verifiable records that represent an effective contribution to the constitution of sufficient evidence to substantiate a complaint; but to refrain from disclosing the request for the benefit of clemency until PROCOMPETENCIA has formulated a request or ordered to file the background of the request, and end their participation in the conduct immediately after submitting their request for the benefit of clemency or continue to collect the information enough until you have enough information for the effective application of clemency in your favor.

The regulations even require that the person who wants said benefit must undertake that once the anti-competitive practice has been sanctioned, return the profits obtained since the cartel began and adopt a compliance program, in order to correct any commercial practice. inappropriate, said program will be at the expense of the economic agent and must be executed by an expert from a list approved by PROCOMPETENCIA.

Notification time is essential, since as soon as they suspect that they are or have been involved in collusion, PROCOMPETENCIA recommends that potential interested parties start the leniency procedure, as soon as possible by submitting a leniency request. . Benefits can only be requested if PROCOMPETENCIA is not conducting an investigation with sufficient evidence for the same facts or on the same market to which the clemency request refers.

Finally, the authority guarantees to keep the existence of the request for the benefit of clemency confidential. Said confidentiality will cease when a request is presented, in which case the identity of those who have made statements or provided information within the framework of the application for benefits and all information that may affect the competitive development of its holder will be protected.