ASCOLA representatives voice concern over independence of competition agencies

Are independent antitrust authorities a must-have for free market economies? The scholars, assembled in ASCOLA, the Academic Society for Competition Law, think so.

In February 2024, ASCOLA President Prof. Rupprecht Podszun and the head of ASCOLA’s Latin America Chapter, Prof. Juan David Gutiérrez, voiced their concern regarding developments in Latin America. In Mexico, the state president announced that he will present a bill to eliminate COFECE, the renowned competition agency. In countries like Colombia, Argentina and Costa Rica, politicians try to capture the agencies or undermine their functioning. “This is unsettling news for consumers, businesses, and investors. (…) The Latin American agencies have greatly inspired the debate in the past years”, write Podszun and Gutiérrez in an opinion piece for the Spanish-language newspaper El País. “If not wholly eliminated, as proposed in Mexico, competition agencies can die with a whimper, being raided of powers by limited budgets, political interference, or a leadership vacuum.”

The two authors call on the business community, practitioners in the field of competition law, scholars, other enforcers and politicians to preserve the powers and the independence of competition agencies – not only in Latin America.

The article is available in English here: