Seeking how to prevent anti-competitive practices among economic agents in Nicaragua, the National Institute for the Promotion of Competition (PROCOMPETENCIA) approved the Leniency Program Regulations (Regulation No. 31), which was published in La Gaceta, Diario Oficial No. 45 of March 5, 2021.
Such regulation creates the Leniency Program, which will allow the participating member of a cartel to receive the benefit of exempting from the payment of the fine that corresponds for having carried out anti-competitive practices of a collusive nature with other competitors in the market.
The aforementioned program is in tune with article 48 of Law 601 (“Law for the Promotion of Competition”), which states that any economic agent who informs PROCOMPETENCIA of any type of agreement or other practice that violates said regulation, in which said agent participates with other economic agents, will be exonerated from the pecuniary penalty that has to be applied to the other economic agents participating in said activity.
The requirements to be eligible for this benefit are the following:
- Provide accurate, truthful and verifiable information that represents an effective contribution to the constitution of sufficient evidence to substantiate a complaint;
- Refrain from disclosing the request for leniency until PROCOMPETENCIA has formulated a request or ordered the filing of the background of the request, unless it has expressly authorized its disclosure;
- Terminate the participation in the conduct immediately after the request for leniency is submitted or continue to collect sufficient information until sufficient information is in place for the effective application of leniency in their favor;
- Undertake that once the anticompetitive practice has been sanctioned, return the profits obtained since the cartel began; and
- Adopt a compliance program, to correct any inappropriate business practices.
Any person –physical or legal- who can be attributed any responsibility for having intervened in an anticompetitive practice, regardless of their degree of intervention or role in collusion, can apply as a beneficiary to this program. The only exception in terms of application will be that economic agent who has proposed or acted as the intellectual author of the cartel.
It is added that this program is the first of its kind in Central America.
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If you require more information in this regard, you can contact CENTRAL LAW at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Avil Ramirez Mayorga
CENTRAL LAW in Nicaragua