As of September 1, 2017 the prohibition on cartels applies to all domestic and foreign companies which are active in Curaçao. The prohibition on cartels applies to the following types of market behavior that hinders, restricts or distorts competition:

There are also exceptions to the prohibition on cartels. You can read more about the prohibition on cartels and exceptions thereto on this page.

Anti-competitive agreements

The interpretation of the term “agreement” is extensive. An agreement does not have to be put down in writing but can also be informal or tacit. For example, a verbal gentlemen’s agreement. An agreement only requires consensus on the commercial practices of the companies concerned. The concept “concerted practice” is even broader. When (potential) competitors share commercial information and subsequently adjust their market behavior based on this information, this is considered to be a concerted practice.

Below, we will use the term agreement for all types of market behavior that may fall under the prohibition on cartels.

Both horizontal and vertical agreements may fall under the cartel-prohibition. A horizontal agreement is an agreement between companies that are actual or potential competitors. A vertical agreement is an agreement between companies that are active at different levels in the production chain, such as an agreement between a manufacturer and a wholesale company.

Hardcore violations

Article 3.1, second paragraph, of the National Ordinance on Competition [in Dutch: Landsverordening inzake concurrentie] comprises several types of agreements which are always in violation of the prohibition on cartels. These hardcore violations severely damage consumer welfare. The following types of agreements between competitors are deemed to be hardcore violations:

The Fair Trade Authority Curaçao gives high priority to detecting and ending these types of agreements.

Exceptions to the prohibition on cartels

In principle, the National Ordinance on Competition does not make exceptions for hardcore violations. For other kinds of agreements, the prohibition on cartels provides for the following three exceptions: