Competition Law and Policy in Costa Rica 2014


Cover in English Costa Rica Peer Review

Date of publication:
4 December 2014


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PEER REVIEW LAUNCH - San José, 04/12/2014

The Peer Review was officially launched in San José during the 20th anniversary ceremony of Costa Rica's Competition Law in presence of renowned competition experts, Minister of Economy, Mr Welmer Ramos Gonzáles and Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexandre Mora.

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Jointly published by the OECD and the IDB, this peer review provides a thorough insight into the current strengths and weaknesses of the Costa Rican competition regime and sets out recommendations to help improve Costa Rica's competition framework.

The report notes that Costa Rica’s competition law framework is analytically sound and its national competition agency (COPROCOM) demonstrates willingness to apply the law since its inception in 1996.

The report also signals there is room for improvement in a number of areas in order to align competition law enforcement with international standards, such as markets like electricity and oil, where the introduction of competition could result in a more efficient functioning of the economy to the benefit of consumers.

Key recommendations of the report include:

  • Grant COPROCOM more autonomy and independence
  • Provide COPROCOM with powers to grant leniency for whistle-blowers to uncover cartels, backed up by a stronger penalty regime
  • Require mergers to be notified before the execution of the transaction
  • Transfer to COPROCOM the power to authorise merger transactions between market players in the financial sector
  • Transfer to COPROCOM the power to enforce the competition provisions in the General Telecommunications Law
  • Encourage COPROCOM to publish guidelines that explain the obligations, requirements and procedures to notify merger transactions

The peer review was discussed and debated by senior officials of Latin American competition authorities and experts during the OECD-IDB Latin American Competition Forum held in Uruguay on 16-17 September 2014. Its recommendations reflect the broad consultations held with key stakeholders in Costa Rica.


“Peer reviews” are a core element of the OECD work. The mechanisms of peer reviews vary, but it is founded upon the willingness of a country to submit its laws and policies to substantive questioning by other peers.

The process provides valuable insights into the country under study, getting to the heart of ways in which each country deals with competition and regulatory issues, from the soundness of its competition laws to the structure and effectiveness of its competition institutions.

Moreover, these reviews incorporate recommendations for changes in government policy.



Since 2003, the OECD and the Inter-American Development Bank have collaborated on a series of reviews of competition policy and law in Latin America. Costa Rica was the 10th Latin American country to undergo a review of its competition regime. Most of these reviews are performed during the Latin American Competition Forum which is held every year in a different country in Latin America and the Caribbean.

View all other Latin America reviews

Access the Forum webpage


Latin American and Caribbean Competition ForumGlobal Forum on CompetitionCompetition at the OECD‌ • Other competition country reviews


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