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Inventory of Domestic Laws and Regulations Relating to
Competition Policy in the Western Hemisphere

Submitted by the OAS Trade Unit to the FTAA Working Group on Competition Policies

IV. Exceptions to the Scope of Application



Any corporation providing telecommunications, electricity, energy, transportation, or water, and those in other sectors that are not included in the system, as well as those which, pursuant to Article 19 (exclusions) are duly authorized to merge to contribute to increased production or better distribution of regulated goods and services, without eliminating competition in a substantial part of the affected production. (Sectoral Regulation System Law).


The provisions of Law 8,884/94 do not apply to dumping and subsidies cases addressed in the Agreements Relating to the Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), promulgated by Decrees 93941 and 93962 of January 16 and 22, 1987.

The bodies entrusted with carrying out the law in this case will be the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Treasury.


Nothing in this Act applies in respect of: (a) combinations or activities of workmen or employees for their own reasonable protection as such workmen or employees; (b) contracts, agreements or arrangements between or among fishermen or associations of fishermen and persons or associations of persons engaged in the buying or processing of fish relating to the prices, remuneration or other like conditions under which fish will be caught and supplied to those persons by fishermen; or c) contracts, agreements or arrangements between or among two or more employers in a trade, industry or profession, whether effected directly between or among the employers or through the instrumentality of a corporation or association of which the employers are members, pertaining to collective bargaining with their employees in respect to salary or wages and terms or conditions of employment. (Section 4(1)).

Nothing in this section exempts from the application of any provision of this Act a contract, agreement or arrangement entered into by an employer to withhold any product from any person, or to refrain from acquiring from any person any product other than the services of workmen or employees. (Section 4(2)).

Sections 45 and 61 do not apply in respect of an agreement or arrangement between or among persons who are members of a class of persons who ordinarily engage in the business of dealing in securities or between or among such persons and the issue of a specific security, in the case of a primary distribution, or the vendor of a specific security, in the case of a secondary distribution, where the agreement or arrangement has a reasonable relationship to the underwriting of a specific security. (Section 5(1)).

This Act does not apply in respect of agreements or arrangements between or among teams, clubs and leagues pertaining to participation in amateur sport. (Section 6(1)).


The sector of public services to residences: Law 142 of 1993, which establishes the system of public services to residences and other provisions.

The financial and insurance sector: Decree Law 663 of 1993, which updates the Organic Statute of the Financial System.

Television: Law 182 of 1995.

Costa Rica

The chapter on Promotion of Competition shall not apply to:
a. Agents who provide public services by virtue of a concession, granted under law for undertaking the necessary activities for provision of services, in accordance with the limitations established in the concession and in special regulations;
b. State monopolies created by law, as long as there are special laws authorizing them to carry out specific activities such as insurance, distilling alcoholic beverages and marketing same for domestic consumption, distribution of fuel, telephone and telecommunications services, electricity, and water.
c. Municipalities, with respect both to their internal rules and regulations and to their dealings with third parties.
(Article 9 and 69 of the Law and Article 29 of the Regulations).


There are no exceptions to the scope of application of Decree Law No. 211.

Dominican Republic


There are no exceptions.


Nothing in this Act shall apply to:
(a) combinations or activities of employees for their own reasonable protection as employees;
(b) arrangements for collective bargaining on behalf of employers and employees for the purpose of fixing terms and conditions of employment;
(c) the entering into of an agreement insofar as it contains a provision relating to the use, licence or assignment of rights under or existing by virtue of any copyright. patent or trademark;
(d) the entering into or carrying out of such an agreement or the engagement in such business practice, as is authorized by the Commissioner under Part V;
(e) any act done to give effect to a provision of an arrangement referred to in paragraph (c);
(f) activities expressly approved or required under any treaty or agreement to which Jamaica is a party;
(g) activities of professional associations designed to develop or enforce professional standards of competence reasonably necessary for the protection of the public;
(h) such other business or activity declared by the Minister by order subject to affirmative resolution. (Section 3).


For purposes of this Act, undertakings in strategic areas reserved exclusively to the State, as set forth in Article 28 of the Constitution of the United Mexican States, shall not be deemed monopolies. However, the agencies and entities responsible for carrying out the undertakings referred to in the foregoing paragraph shall be subject to the provisions of this Act with respect to activities not expressly included within the strategic areas. (Article 4).

Labor federations duly constituted in accordance with applicable legislation to protect the interests of workers shall not be deemed monopolies.

The exercise of copyrights granted for a specified period of time to authors and artists for the production of their works, or patents granted to inventors or those who improve inventions for the exclusive use of their inventions, shall not be deemed monopolies. (Article 5).

Cooperatives and associations that engage in direct sales of their products abroad shall not be deemed monopolies, provided: I. such products are the principal source of income for the region in which they are produced, or are not basic goods; II. their products are not also offered for sale or distributed within Mexico; III. membership is voluntary, and admission to and resignation from the group is permitted without hindrance; IV. they do not issue or distribute permits or licenses whose provision is the responsibility of agencies or entities of the federal government; and V. they are duly constituted under the applicable laws of the area in which they are located. (Article 6).

The determination of maximum price levels for products and services deemed necessary to the national economy or essential to meet the basic needs of society, shall be subject to the following provisions:
a) The Federal Executive has exclusive authority to determine, in official decrees, which goods and services will be subject to maximum price levels; b) Notwithstanding the powers of other agencies, the Ministry shall be responsible for determining the maximum price levels for goods and services identified under the preceding paragraph, based on criteria designed to prevent shortages; c) The Ministry may coordinate and agree with producers or distributors on such actions as it deems necessary in this area without violating the provisions of this Act. It shall attempt to minimize the effects of their activities on competition; d) The Consumer Advocate's office, in coordination with the Ministry, shall be responsible for the surveillance and enforcement of the maximum price levels determined under this Article, in accordance with the Federal Consumer Protection Act. (Article 7).


This Law shall not apply to those economic activities which the Constitution and the laws reserve exclusively for the State. (Article 3).


United States

Exceptions to the application of the antitrust laws exist for certain activities in some sectors. In many cases a specialized regulatory agency with sector-specific responsibilities applies competition rules analogous to the federal antitrust laws, and the antitrust agencies retain an advisory, competition advocacy role.

Sectors that retain some form of exemption from, or special treatment under, the antitrust laws include: agricultural cooperatives; fishermen=s cooperatives; banks and other financial institutions; securities and commodities industries; insurance (to the extent it is regulated by state law); newspapers; professional sports; interstate motor, rail, and water carriers; ocean shipping; organized labor; and air transportation. The clear trend is to reduce these exceptions, which are narrowly construed by the courts; the vast bulk of U.S. commerce remains subject to antitrust disciplines.

The federal government and its instrumentalities are immune from the antitrust laws. Under the state action doctrine, private action taken pursuant to a clearly articulated policy of one of the U.S. states and subject to the active supervision of the state is immunized from antitrust liability.

Congress has enacted special laws relating to export activities. The jurisdictional reach of the U.S. antitrust laws does not extend to U.S. export activities unless they have a "direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect" on trade or commerce within the U.S., on U.S. import trade or commerce, or on the export trade of exporters in the U.S. The principal effect of the export-related legislation in this area is to provide greater advance certainty regarding the federal and state antitrust implications of export conduct.


The legal rules of the Cartagena Agreement will apply to actions that restrict free trade in the Andean subregional market. (Article 2).

Agricultural producers are authorized to associate for the purpose of marketing their products. The President, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, may encourage agreements between agricultural producers and agribusinesses. (Article 1 of Decree No. 3,246 of November 18, 1993).

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