On October 11, 2011, Ecuador passed a new competition law, two weeks after it was approved by the legislature. The new Regulation and Control of Market Power Law (the Law) introduces merger control in Ecuador as well as behavioural penalties for cartels and abuse of dominance. The new law also contains provisions specifying limits to the interests that can be held in the media and banking sectors in Ecuador. The passage of the new Law has attracted criticism from the business community raising concerns that it vests excessive power to control and sanction private enterprises and may be subject to undue political pressure in its enforcement.
Until the current developments, Ecuador was one of the few remaining Latin American countries without comprehensive competition and merger control legislation. It began drafting specific legislation two years ago through the Ministry of Industries and under the supervision of President Rafael Correa.
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