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Honduras

Last Verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    Competition law enforcement

    • Honduras

      The relevant legislation applicable to competition law enforcement is mainly the Law for the Defence and Promotion of Competition (Decree 357-2005, LDPC) and its by-law, Accord 001-2007, R-LDPC). There are also references to free competition in the market as public policy in the Honduran Constitution (article 339) and also in the Honduran Telecom Law and in the Honduran Financial System Law (Decree 129-2004). The Honduran Code of Commerce (Decree 73-50), that holds the main regulation for Honduras corporate and commercial law, includes the principles and rules regarding corporations and companies as well as commercial contracts and agreements.

      As for the regulatory bodies, the primary regulator for competition law enforcement is the Honduran Competition Agency (CDPC, Antitrust Agency or Commission). The Commission is responsible for granting authorisation for mergers to take place; without its permission mergers cannot take place. For specific sectors, other regulators may be relevant, such as: the National Banking and Insurance Commission (CNBS) and the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL).

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

  • Merger control

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to articles 13 LDPC, 10 R-LDPC and Decision 04-CDPC-2014-AÑO IX, the transactions that must be notified to the Commission are those that meet the thresholds determined by the Commission taking into consideration the total amount of combined assets, total combined turnover or participation in the relevant market, calculated on annual basis.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      According to Decision 04-CDPC-2014-AÑO-IX issued by the Commission, transactions should be notified if they meet any of the following thresholds:

      • when the combined total assets of the economic agents to the transaction, exceeds the equivalent of 4,000 minimum wages, calculated on an annual average basis;
      • when the combined turnover of the economic agents to the transaction exceeds the equivalent of 5,000 minimum wages, calculated on an annual average basis; or
      • when possible or feasible to determine the participation in the relevant market, it is understood that economic concentrations should be notified to the Commission, when the economic agents directly involved in the merger, individually or combined, exceed 25 per cent of the relevant market.

      For the purposes of calculating the relevant thresholds, two things have to be taken into consideration:

      • The applicable minimum wage as determined by the Honduran Labor Authority (by 2019 average of such minimum wage at L. 9,622.32 (US$392.11); and
      • The applicable exchange rate amount of the Honduran currency (lempira) with respect to the dollars, by this date at US$24.5993 per US$1). 

      Such that by 2019, the threshold for combined total assets lies at: US$18,821,280.

      And the threshold for combined turnover lies at: US$23,526,600.

      Notification is mandatory before the Commission for transactions falling within the thresholds listed above.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to articles 13, 52 and 53 LDPC all economic agents involved in the transaction are responsible for filing a notifiable transaction.

      As for filing fees, pursuant to article 63-B LDPC, amended by Decree 04-2015 and to Decision 01-2015-SG of the Commission, the economic agents involved in a concentration operation must pay a filing fee rate equivalent to 0.15 per cent of the total value of the assets of each of the economic agents involved in the transaction, and for up to a limit of 250 minimum wages (to date, on average, approximately US$98,027.50).

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Under Honduran law, there is an obligation not to close the transaction pending review. The transaction-clearance is completed with the decision of the Commission that authorises the merger, rejects it or it authorises it with limitations and conditions. Hence, parties must wait for a clearance decision that the Commission would issue within a 45-business day term after filing and information to provide is deemed to be completed. Parties must have formal clearance from the Commission before closing. Closing is to be suspended pending clearance. Law requires local clearance to be granted prior to global closing. 

      If the parties would seek to close a deal globally prior to clearance in Honduras, they run the risk of certain measures to the effects of the transaction in Honduras (eg, divestment or transfer of certain assets). Even though Law provides for action by the Commission (article 17 LDPC) to suspend the effects of an ongoing transaction, there is no precedent of such in Honduras yet. 

      As for large international transactions between foreign companies’ parties could close into escrow, or segregate local assets to allow the wider deal to go forward without further delay (carve-out) without violating local law.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Local effects are part of the test. Pursuant to article 4 LDPC, transactions are to be notified to the Commission if they would produce effects in the local market. Therefore, if the jurisdictional thresholds are met, notification and clearance would be required (even in foreign to foreign transactions or if none of the parties has local presence) if the transaction would produce effect in Honduras. The law does link effects test with local nexus, where local nexus would be in-country revenues or in-country presence or assets or sales in the territory. Notification requirement does not apply to mergers and acquisitions that have no local nexus or no local effect.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      As indicated, pursuant to article 13 LDPC and 14 R-LDPC, a notification transaction must be filed before the Commission at any time before the transaction produces effects.  

      Further, pursuant to article 53 LDPC, upon admittance of the filing, the Commission has 45 business days to review and clear the transaction. The deadline starts running the day after the notification has been officially admitted by the Commission. Therefore, the 45 business days mentioned above, would begin to count from the following day in which the required information has been completed by the economic agents involved. 

      When the notification filing does not meet the requirements requested by the Commission, the interested parties would be required to correct it, within 10 business days, with a warning that if it is not done, the notification filing would be closed without further processing. 

      In practice, timeline is sometimes extended owing to information requests issued by the Commission. 

      Practice has shown that the factual time-line for approval ranges from 8 to 10 weeks.

      As a result of review, verification or investigation of an economic concentration, the Commission can make a favourable clearance decision, prohibit the concentration or order conditional measures for approval (article 18 LDPC).

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Yes, there is a fast track process. Decision 14-CDPC-2012-AÑO-VII establishes a process for authorising concentration operations referred to in article 13 R-LDPC. 

      Transactions that qualify are those related to article 16 LDPC, that indicates that the Commission shall approve the operations in which:

      • the economic agents involved in legal acts on shares or interest of foreign companies do not acquire control of Honduran companies, nor accumulate in national territory shares, interest, participation in trusts or assets in general, additional to those that, directly or indirectly, possess before the transaction;
      • the concentrations fall on an economic agent that is in insolvency, provided that the economic agent has verified unsuccessfull buyers not competitors;
      • the parties to the transaction have interconnections of a temporary nature that are carried out to develop a specific project or specific purpose, such as the joint ventures, strategic alliances, among others; and
      • the concentrations consist of a simple corporate restructuring, where an economic agent has had ownership and possession, directly or indirectly, by at least during the last three years, 98 per cent of the shares or social shares of him or the economic agents involved in the transaction.

      Pursuant to Decision 14-CDPC-2012-AÑO VII, upon admittance of the filing the Commission has 15 business days from that in which the Commission deems that all data or information has been received to review the transaction and to issue the decision that approves or authorises the concentration operation in question.

      When applicable, the transactions, the average timeline for approval has been three to five weeks.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to articles 13 and 15 LDPC, where a merger occurs without previously filing, it is considered a violation of the Competition Law. The Commission may investigate the concentration ex officio or based on a third-party claim, within the next three months following the date that the merger was effective or the date the authority became aware of it. 

      The omission by the economic agents involved, in the terms of the related notification will be considered non-compliance with the provisions of the Competition Law. 

      Behaviours that are considered gun-jumping are those related to failure to notify a transaction. 

      Pursuant to articles 37 and 41 LPDC, penalties for failing to notify or suspend transactions pending clearance are from approximately US$50 to US$3,000 per day for up to 30 days; except for repeated offence, the maximum penalty is approximately US$65,000.

      The highest fine imposed to date is of US$92,000, for a party that failed to notify and was found to have failed to notify another transaction in previous years.

      Article 57 LDPC states that the statute of limitations is of two years for imposing fines (sanctions) and five years for initiating action for infringement of the applicable law.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Notification content and review process are not publicised. However, once the transaction is cleared or approved, the Commission will make its resolutions public by the means it deems appropriate including the publication in newspapers of national circulation at cost of the economic agents involved or, by the Commission on behalf of the economic agents involved, as the case may be (articles 56 LDPC and 82 R-LDPC).

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to articles 15 and 46 LDPC, the Commission may investigate when an economic concentration has not been submitted to prior verification and is presumably restricting, decreasing, harming or impeding free competition. The Commission, within a period of no longer than three months after an economic concentration has occurred or from the date on which the Commission had knowledge of the concentration, could initiate (ex officio or upon request by a party), an investigation during which it must demand the economic agents involved the information that is relevant to the referred research.

      The Commission is authorised to request documents and information necessary indicating the legal basis. The economic agents are obliged to provide the requested information. If an economic agent does not provide the information requested within the period fixed by the Commission or does not provide it at all, the Commission could demand it through resolution. The Commission will specify the documents and information that it deems necessary, an appropriate term will be set for its presentation and the sanctions that would be imposed if the information was not presented. 

      If the information is not provided or present incomplete or inaccurate, deliberately or by negligence. The Commission can also impose fines of up to US$3,200.

      Officials and employees appointed by the Commission can carry out investigations in establishments, when there are reasonable indications of a violation of the provisions in the law, without prior notification. In this case, the economic agents involved are forced to allow free access to the establishment and put to the disposition of the investigating officials all the documents to perform the investigation.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Yes. Pursuant to articles 52 LDPC and articles 15, 22 R-LDPC, Parties are required are general information of the economic agents who notify the concentration and those who participate in it directly. Among other things, Commission requires corporate information, information on directors and shareholders; the financial statements of the economic agents of the fiscal year of the previous year, certified by a public accountant; description of the economic concentration, its objectives and type of operation, copy of the draft of the share purchase agreements, merger agreements or similar that will regulate the relationship in question; description of the main goods or services that the economic agents produce or offers, the list of substitute goods or services, of the main economic agents not involved that the produce or market in the territory of the Republic of Honduras, as well as their data on participation in the market as well as any information that the Commission requires.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Local Law (article 9 LDPC) and Case Law by the Commission refers to economic efficiencies and consumer welfare effects. The standard relates to the combined firm’s market power and reduced opportunities for competitors. The most notable merger control decisions have been those related to transaction in highly concentrated markets (telecommunications, fuel sector, cement and sugar sectors). In these, the Commission has granted approval, but placed important conditions to economic agents.

      There are no particular emerging trends or hot topics in merger control regulation in Honduras.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Efficiencies and consumer welfare are taken into account in the review process.  Even placing important conditions to the economic agents within a clearance decision, the Commission has approved a few transactions with significant HHI levels, emphasising agents’ commitment to resulting efficiencies outweighing the deal’s potential adverse effects on competition.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Decisions issued by the Commission may be appealed for review. The appeal must be filed within the next 10 business days of the notification of the contested act. The resolution of the appeal will be issued within 10 business days (article 45 LDPC; articles 137 and 138 of the Administrative Procedures Law).

      Once the administrative procedure has been completed against the decisions of the Commission, the procedure before the Administrative Contentious Jurisdiction is expedited.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

  • Cartel Enforcement

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to article 5 LDPC, prohibition exists (irrelevant of them being formal or informal or if they occur in person or not) for any contracts, agreements, concerted practices, combinations or arrangements between competing economic agents or potential competitors, written or verbal, whose fundamental purpose or effect is to:

      • establish prices, rates or discounts;
      • restrict, totally or partially the production, distribution, supply or marketing of goods or services;
      • directly or indirectly distribute the market in areas such as territorial, clientele, supply sectors or sources of provisioning; or
      • establish, arrange or coordinate positions or abstain concertedly to participate in bids, competitions, contest rates or public auctions. 

      Also, pursuant to article 7 LDPC, prohibition also applies to any contracts, agreements, combinations, arrangements or behaviours not included in the scope of the above-mentioned (which are the per se prohibitions of article 5), when such contracts, agreements, combinations, arrangements or behaviours have the effect of restricting, diminishing, damaging, preventing or violating the process of free competition in production, distribution, supply or marketing of goods or services (by effects prohibitions).  

      These are: 

      • among non-competitors, the imposition of restrictions concerning the territory, the volume or the clients, as well as the obligation to not produce or distribute goods and services for a determined period to an economic agent such as a distributor or supplier in order to sell goods or provide services;
      • fixing the prices or other conditions that the economic agent such as a distributor or a supplier has to observe when selling goods or providing services; 
      • the agreement among economic agents to exert pressure against any other economic agent with the purpose of dissuading him or her from a determined conduct or obliging him to act on a certain way; 
      • the subordination of performing a contract, under the condition of accepting supplementary expenses, which have no relation with the subject of the contracts owing to their nature or uses of commerce; 
      • the transaction bounded to the condition of not using, acquiring, selling or providing the goods and services produced, distributed or commercialised by a third person; 
      • fixing the prices under the costs to eliminate competitors in a total or partial way or the application of unfair practices;  
      • limiting the production, the distribution or the technological development from an economic agent in prejudice of the other economic agents or consumers; 
      • granting favourable conditions, from an economical agent to his buyers with the requirement that his purchases represent a determined volume or percentage of the demand; and
      • any other act or negotiation that the Commission considers it restricts diminishes, damages, impedes or weakens the process of free competition in the production, distribution or commercialisation of goods or services.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Cartel violations infringements are such either by object (per se prohibitions of article 5 LDPC) of by effect (article 7 LDPC). Any evidence or proof, it being, documents, witness, expert, even circumstantial evidence not undermined or rebutted would be sufficient to prove a cartel infringement. Except for cases of assumed wilful misconduct for concealment or obscuring, approach by the Commission does not change if contacts between competitors occur locally or abroad.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to article 46 LDPC, the Commission has absolute powers to investigate any cartel infringement as well as any other behaviour of economic agents in the market, they may request documents and information that must be provided by the owners or legal representatives of the economic agents. Upon request of the information, the agent will have a period of time to provide such information, if it weren’t provided, the Commission can demand through a resolution the documents indicating the penalty (up to US$3,200) if these weren’t provided during the time being.

      When rational indications of a violation of the provisions in the Law, with the appropriate authorisation of the Commission, Officials shall make investigations in the establishments of the economic agents. The economic agents involved will be under obligation to allow free access to the establishment and to provide with the documents and information necessary to perform the investigation.

      If a violation of the law were to be found the Commission would have a period of two years to impose a fine and five years to exercise the actions derived from the dispositions of the Law. 

      The term of statute of limitations will start from the day the violation is committed. However, regarding the continuous or successive infractions, the statute of limitations will start from the day the prohibited conduct ceased.

      The Commission may seize documents and make copies of electronic documents.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      The Commission, in the case of a cartel conduct proven, shall impose by means of a motivated resolution a fine equivalent to three times the amount of the economic benefit obtained due to practices or conducts prohibited by object and effect. In case it is not possible to determine the amount of the benefit, the Commission may impose a fine that in any case shall not exceed 10 per cent of the turnover of the previous year. Without limiting the foregoing, the Commission will also order the ceasing of the practices or conducts prohibited by the law herein. In the case of recurrence the Commission will impose the double of the last fine imposed.

      Pursuant to article 6 LDPC, all contracts, arrangements, combinations, agreements prohibited by the Law are null, without prejudice of the corresponding criminal or civil responsibility. These economic agents shall be sanctioned even when the prohibited practices have not yet produced any effect.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      The Law refers to economic agents in general (these typically being undertakings). And sanctions related to cartels and prohibited being applied to such undertaking or companies and in relation to such companies’ annual revenues and turnover. However, nothing in the Law provides against individuals (directors, managers) being liable for cartel infringements. Moreover, the specific mention to “individuals” in article 4 LDPC as subject to the Law, and of “criminal, administrative and civil” liability would allow for such liability to be placed on individuals (articles 6, 36 LDPC).

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Decree 04-2015, that amended article 51 LDPC included provisions on immunity or leniency programme, such that Law now grants a partial or total exemption from the payment of the fine that could have been imposed if a cause of prohibited practices had been incurred when:

      • The economic agent was the first to provide sufficient evidence that would allow the Commission to initiate an investigation pursuant to articles 46, 47 and 48 LDPC related to restrictive practices prohibited by its nature, such as cartels.
      • The economic agent was the first to provide sufficient evidence that would allow the Commission to evidence a prohibited practice such as cartels, with the condition that when the proof provided, the Commission does not have sufficient evidence to establish the existence of the infringement and has granted an exemption to the economic agent by virtue of what has been mentioned above.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Article 51-C of the Law, amended as per Decree 04-2015 establishes the parameters for a reduction in the amount of the fine for those economic agents who do not meet the requirements mentioned in the previous section (refer to question 25) and who provide evidence of the alleged infringement that proves a significant added value with respect to those already available to the Commission, or that cooperate with the Commission in the investigation process, terminate their participation in the alleged infringement or have not destroyed evidence related to the request for exemption from the fine. 

      Law establishes that the reduction of the fine can be between a 20 per cent and a 50 per cent of the amount of the fine that corresponds.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to article 50 LDPC, the procedure to sanction prohibited practices, acts or conducts will be initiated ex officio or by request of a party, which must include information or the indication to where the pertinent documentation can be found, corroborating the facts denounced.

      When circumstantial evidence is found by the Commission to judge that it is a prohibited practice, act or conduct, the Commission will formulate a document of charges in which it will state the imputable facts. This document will be notified to the legal representatives of the economic agents involved, conceding them a maximal term of 30 business days to appeal it and to propose any proof or other charges. If the Commission concludes that a prohibited practice or conduct exists, by means of motivated resolution, it must oblige the economic agents or the association of economic agents involved to cease or desist from the practices originating the infraction and will apply the corresponding sanctions. The resolution shall be notified to the economic agents involved or the association of economic agents and it must be published in two local newspapers. 

      The procedure will last no more than six months counted from the date of the formulation of the document of charges mentioned before.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      During the investigation, none of the information obtained the investigation procedure made by the Commission is made public.

      If a third party filed an accusation over a prohibited conduct, this third party can also voluntarily provide documentation for the case but could not be able to have access to the file itself. If the Commission deems it necessary, it may request information to the third party.

      At the end of the investigation, the Commission will issue a final decision that that will be made public (article 50, #10 LDPC; articles 78 d), 82 R-LDPC).

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Once the Commission issues the decision determining if a practice, act or conduct is prohibited or not this resolution may be subject of appeal. All decisions and resolutions issued by the Commission may be appealed for review. Such appeal must be presented within the next 10 business days of the notification. The resolution of the appeal will be notified 10 business days (article 45 LDPC; articles 137 and 138 of the Administrative Procedures Law). Administrative procedure is completed with this appeal. 

      Once the administrative procedure has been completed against the decisions of the Commission, the procedure is to be brought before the Administrative Contentious Jurisdiction to be expedited. These Administrative Courts, even if in fact not specialised in antitrust enforcement, review aspects of substance along with procedural aspects.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Under Competition Law there is no such payment for damages for the affected third parties. However, such third parties may by means of civil action, claim damages. Pursuant to article 58 LDPC, the decisions or resolutions of the Commission, as well as the judgments of the Administrative Contentious Tribunals determining that an economic agent has infringed one of the prohibitions included in the Law, would be received as proof against the economic agents in the possible processes third parties could undertake to obtain a compensation for damages.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      No, as stated in relation to processes involving cartel investigation, in the context of a leniency application third parties don’t have access to documents since all the investigation documents submitted are not made public. 

      Third parties would only have access to the information given in the resolution of the application process at the end of the investigation.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

  • Abuse of dominance/unilateral conduct

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to article 8 R-LDPC, for an abuse of dominance by an economic agent to be determined, the following should be taken into consideration:

      • Their share in the relevant market, for which turnover should be observed, and also number of customers, productive capacity or any another factor that the Commission deems appropriate;
      • The possibility that it may price unilaterally or restrict the supply in the relevant market without competitors being able to real or potentially counteract such noticeable participation; for which the impact of the analysed practice on prices should be considered;
      • That the analysed practice leads to an increase in access costs or exit to competitors; whether they are potential or current, national or foreign;
      • That the analysed practice tends to hinder access to production inputs, the entry of goods or services, provoke an artificial increase in the cost structure of its competitors, hinder their productive process, marketing, or reduce the demand of these;
      • The persistent use of the profits that an economic agent obtains in the marketing of a good or services to finance losses among other goods or services;
      • The unjustified commercial establishment of different prices or conditions of sale for different buyers located in equality of terms;
      • The systematic decrease below their costs when the sale of goods or services is carried out below its total average cost or its casual sale below the average variable cost during a period of time;
      • The existence of entry barriers, such as:
        1. the financial costs to develop alternative channels;
        2. limited access to financing, technology or channels of efficient distribution;
        3. the amount, indivisibility and recovery period of the required investment, as well as the absence or scarce profitability of alternative uses of infrastructure and equipment;
        4. the need to have licences, permits or any other authorisation of the government, as well as with right of use or any operation protected by the legislation on intellectual property, that they are not required equally to all the participants of the industry concerned;
        5. investment in advertising required for a brand or commercial name to acquires a market presence that allows it to compete with brands or names already established;
        6. limitations on competition in international markets;
        7. restrictions constituted by common practices of the economic agents, already established in the relevant market; and,
        8. national, departmental or municipal acts of authority that can be discriminatory in the granting of stimulus, subsidies, supports or any other type of incentives to certain producers, marketers, distributors or service providers; and
      • The existence of alternative offers or current or potential demand for domestic or foreign goods or services during a period of time considerable.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to article 8 LDPC abuse of dominance with respect to those economic agents that (individually or collectively) hold dominance in the market is identified when agreements, contracts, combinations, arrangements, conduct or behaviour by such agents would result in infringement of the provisions of article 7 LDPC (prohibited practices by effects). Such provisions indicate that the following practices are deemed to be prohibited: 

      • Among non-competitors, the imposition of restrictions concerning the territory, the volume or the clients, as well as the obligation to not produce or distribute goods and services for a determined period to an economic agent such as a distributor or supplier to sell goods or provide services;
      • fixing the prices or other conditions that the economic agent such as a distributor or a supplier has to observe when selling goods or providing services; 
      • the agreement among economic agents to exert pressure against any other economic agent with the purpose of dissuading him from a determined conduct or obliging him to act on a certain way;
      • the subordination of performing a contract, under the condition of accepting supplementary expenses, which have no relation with the subject of the contracts due to their nature or uses of commerce; 
      • the transaction bounded to the condition of not using, acquiring, selling or providing the goods and services produced, distributed or commercialised by a third person; 
      • fixing the prices under the costs to eliminate competitors in a total or partial way or the application of unfair practices;  
      • limiting the production, the distribution, or the technological development from an economic agent in prejudice of the other economic agents or consumers; 
      • granting favourable conditions, from an economical agent to his buyers with the requirement that his purchases represent a determined volume or percentage of the demand; and
      • any other act or negotiation that the Commission considers it restricts diminishes, damages, impedes or weakens the process of free competition in the production, distribution or commercialisation of goods or services.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      An abuse of dominance can be considered as a unilateral action of an economic agent or agents to act in the market independently of the actions of clients and/or competitors, referring to a type of anticompetitive practice or conduct that is performed by a dominant economic agent in the sector in which it participates. Abuse of dominance categories (individually or collectively) of behaviour include resale price maintenance, refusal to deal, price discrimination, predatory pricing, excessive pricing, exclusivity arrangements, loyalty rebates.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to article 7, #6 LDPC, for rebates by dominant companies to be considered abusive and prohibited by law, these would need to be below cost or loss-making. Loyalty or exclusivity inducing rebates by dominant companies is prohibited and illegal under local law.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to articles 46, 47, 48 LDPC Commission holds absolute powers to investigate economic agents who are committing an abuse of dominance or that the Commission has a suspicion that is committing such conduct. The Law grants the Commission with enough powers to investigate the existence of prohibited practices or behaviors, including those related to abuse of dominance; to investigate and inspect establishments when there is rational evidence of a violation of the Law, the Regulation of the Law and any other provisions issued by the Commission. The Commission may require all data, information, documentation and the respective collaboration, indicating for this purpose the corresponding term for reply.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Law establishes sanctions specifically for economic agents that violate the provisions of articles 5 and 7 LDPC, which include those related to abuse of dominance. 

      The Commission shall impose by means of motivated resolution, a fine to an economic agent equivalent to three times the amount of the economic benefit obtained due to practices or conducts prohibited. If it is not possible to determine the amount of the benefit, the Commission will fix a fine that shall not exceed 10 per cent of the annual turnover of the last fiscal year.

      Pursuant to article 39 LDPC, to determine the amount of the fine that has to be imposed in each case, the Commission will take into count the seriousness of the fault, the repeated infractions to the Law, the modality and the scope of the restriction of the free competition or the damage to the consumers, the dimension of the affected market, the duration of the infraction and other similar factors.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to article 50 LDPC, when investigating an abuse of dominance, the procedure followed for sanctioning prohibited practices, acts and conducts is initiated ex officio or by request of a party. When sufficient evidence is found to judge an agent for its conduct the Commission will formulate a document of charges in which it will expose the imputable facts and this will be notified to the legal representatives of the economic agents involved, conceding them a maximal term of 30 business days to appeal it and to propose any proof or other charges. If the charges are accepted, the Commission will proceed in relation to the person involved with no other step than the corresponding administrative sanction, if the charges were not accepted, the person would be summoned to a hearing to give their statements. After the hearings come to an end, if the Commission concludes that a prohibited conduct exists, through a decision must oblige the economic agent involved to cease or desist from the practices originating the infraction and apply the corresponding sanctions. In any case, the procedure will last more than six months counted from the date of the formulation of the document of charges.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to article 9 LDPC, efficiencies can be used as defence arguments to justify an abuse of dominance. For such purpose the Law requires that the party in a dominance position should sufficiently evidence such efficiencies. Improvements in the conditions of products, distribution, supply, trading or consumption of goods and services are deemed as acceptable increases of economic efficiencies.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      The amendment provided by Decree 04-2015 refers only to legal infringements by economic agents, of prohibitions listed in article 5 LDPC (by object or per se). Hence, at the moment, under Honduran Law, there is no leniency or settlement option available in the cases of an abuse of dominance.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Pursuant to article 50 LDPC, the information regarding the investigation is not made public until the decision is issued, just like in all investigations made by the Commission. Files are not made public are not public at any stage of the investigation, nor when the decision has been issued.

      The Commission may request third parties to collaborate with information or the previously mentioned can cooperate with information that they deem important and necessary for the investigation.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Yes, all resolutions made by the Commission may be appealed for review. The appeal must be filed before the Commission within the next 10 business days of the notification of the contested act. The resolution of the appeal will be notified 10 business days after the last ruling.

      Once the administrative procedure has been completed before the Commission, the procedure before the Administrative Contentious Jurisdiction is expedited (article 45 LDPC; articles 137 and 138 of the Administrative Procedures Law).

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

    • Honduras

      Under Honduran Civil Law (article 2236 Civil Code), Parties are entitled to claim damages resulting from abuse of dominance conducts. Pursuant to article 58 LDPC, the decisions or resolutions of the Commission, as well as the judgments of the Administrative Contentious Tribunals determining that an economic agent has infringed the Law after abuse of dominance would be received as proof against the economic agents in the potential processes third parties could undertake to obtain a compensation for damages.

      Last verified on Monday 25th March 2019

  • Cooperation with other authorities

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