Competition authorities generally use financial penalties in order to deter enterprises from deliberately or negligently engaging in anti-competitive practices. Article 174.4(d) of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (“Treaty”) enables the CARICOM Competition Commission (“Commission”) to impose penalties on any regional enterprise that commits infringements to Article 177 of the Treaty (Prohibition of Anti-Competitive Conduct), to the extent required to remedy their anti-competitive business conduct.
While providing the Commission with the power to discourage anti-competitive behaviour through the use of fines, the Treaty remains silent on the magnitudes of these financial penalties, how they should be determined or even limitation periods for the imposition of penalties. However, Article 174.7 of the Treaty indicates that the Commission may establish its own rules of procedure, thereby providing it with the necessary freedom to develop a fining regime in order to address anti-competitive behaviour in the region.
At present, the Commission has a draft fining regime which is being reviewed. Upon completion of the review process, the fining regime will be made available to the public.