Damage compensation for anti-competitive practices: a pending task in Colombia

Damage compensation for anti-competitive practices: a pending task in Colombia

By Juan David Gutiérrez, Partner of Avante Abogados

Regardless of the fact that the Colombian legislation on the protection of competition has been in force since 1959, there is not even one case in which a judge ordered compensation to the victims of anti competitive conducts. There are also no substantial decisions resulting from the constitutional actions provided by the Political Constitution of 1991 to protect the collective interest to free competition. The only precedent on these matters has been within the context of arbitration proceedings, mainly the ones related to the declaration of invalidity of anti-competitive contractual clauses (Perilla 2011, Perilla 2015).

Within the last two decades, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) has sanctioned hundreds of companies and individuals for the violation of the legislation on the protection of competition. Therefore, the absence of precedent on compensation in Colombia is not attributable to the lack of victims of anti-competitive practices. Instead, other kinds of reasons would explain the lack of action of Colombian judges in these matters.  For example, Miranda (2013) argues that the little advance in compensation precedent is associated to the Colombian institutional design, which does not offer specific tools and economic incentives for the victims, as opposed to other jurisdictions. 

As a result of the circumstances mentioned above, we are delighted about the opportunity to hear professor Francisco Marcos, an international expert on these matters (see the event invitation below). Professor Marcos will be giving a presentation within the context of the talks organized by the International Committee of the Colombian Competition Law Association “Asociación Colombiana de Derecho de la Competencia”, chaired by Carlos Esguerra. This will be a great opportunity to get to know at first-hand about the development of these matters in Spain and to reflect about the lessons that such case can give to Colombia.

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