Promoting Competition Market Studies in Latin America


Through market studies competition authorities can help markets work better especially when obstacles and distortions to competition are not caused by competition law violations. Competition authorities often use such mechanisms to inform governments about unnecessary obstacles to competition and provide recommendations on how to address them.

The OECD is currently working with Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru to provide them with assistance in their methodology for undertaking market studies.


Why are market studies important?

Market studies provide competition authorities with an in-depth understanding of how sectors and markets work. They are conducted whenever concerns on the functioning of a market arise, that can be caused by factors such as firm behaviour, market structure or consumer conduct amongst others.

The outcome of a market study is an assessment of whether the market is working satisfactorily or not, with a description of issues found and recommendations offering possible solutions.

Market studies can serve as an advocacy tool for competition agencies, as recommendations could include proposals to deregulate a market, to reform its institutions, to introduce some form of business self-regulation, or to improve information dissemination amongst consumers or suppliers. Finally, when anticompetitive behaviour can be the reason for the problem identified, a market study can also lead to the opening of an antitrust investigation.  


The Project with 6 Latin American countries

In June 2014, the OECD and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office launched a project to provide support to Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru in their use of market studies as an important competition tool.

The objective was to run an in-depth analysis of methodologies in place, analyse best practices in some OECD countries and provide these  countries with advice on how to improve their current legal framework and practices.

Nine agencies in the selected countries are responsible for undertaking market studies. Through a detailed questionnaire and missions to these countries, the OECD collected information on their legal powers, the process for selecting markets to study, the methodology used, the results obtained and how these are evaluated. An in-depth analysis of this information, led to the identification areas for improvement.

In parallel, the OECD studied the institutional and legal set-up and the good practices adopted in experienced OECD jurisdictions. This information was used to suggest how the use of market studies could be strengthened in the six countries.


9 agencies from 6 LA countries participated in the project




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18-19 March 2015 - Santiago, Chile

The Report was officially launched in Santiago, Chile on 18  March 2015 during a two-day regional conference to promote the use of market studies by competition authorities in Latin America.

Chilean Minister of Economy, Luis Felipe Céspedes, senior competition officials and ambassadors from both OECD and non-OECD countries attended the event.

» News release  » Comunicado de prensa

» Access the report » Descargue el informe

» Agenda » Orden del día

» Presentations, audio, photos and videos




Project Timeline

Market studies in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru

Launched in June 2014, the project included five stages:


Collection of information in the 6 countries on their experiences in performing market studies. 


Identification of areas for improvement. 


Gathering of information on good practices from more experienced jurisdictions.


Identifying areas for improvement 


Publication of a final report and capacity building event

The launch of the report and the capacity building seminars took place on 18-19 March 2015 in Santiago, Chile.  

Outcomes: a report and a capacity building event

This project led to two main outcomes:

  an OECD report describing how market studies are currently undertaken in the 6 countries wtih advice on how to improve the legal and institutional set-up, and
  a two-day regional conference in Santiago (Chile) to present the findings of the project, discuss the recommendations and provide an opportunity for an exchange of experiences between competition officials in the region and representatives from more experienced competition agencies.

» Download the event's agenda

The OECD Competition division would like to thank the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office for financing the project, as well as the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Chilean government and the World Bank Group for contributing to the organisation of the event.




Competition in Latin America

Competition Assessment Toolkit

OECD Recommendation on Competition Assessment

Pro-competitive Policy Reforms

Liberalisation and competition intervention in regulated sectors

OECD Competition Main Page


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