Venezuelan antitrust law establishes the use of police forces
The first working paper of the draft Antitrust Law highlights that police forces may attend and support the audits to be performed in companies in order to determine whether they are involved in monopolist practices.
The draft law currently under discussion by the National Assembly provides for the creation of the Antitrust National Superintendence, which shall verify that there are no monopolies and oligopolies.
The legal instrument points out that for purposes of conducting inspections and audits, the Antitrust National Superintendence may "require the assistance and support of police forces when necessary, and ask third parties for information it deems necessary, in order to verify the data supplied by companies."
In fact, one of the articles establishes that the auxiliary body of the Superintendence is the Public Prosecutor s Office.
If monopolist practices are detected during audits, the Superintendence may impose fines or administrative measures. Penalties include expropriation and confiscation of assets.
One of the articles regarding the confiscation of assets provides that "when a disciplining process is started in connection with the crimes provided for under the law, the Antitrust National Superintendence shall order the preventive confiscation of the movables related to the crime, following an inventory conducted in the presence of the economic agents (the companies)."
Further, it is provided that "if they are perishable goods, they shall be sold to the public at the price set by the competent authorities (...) when they are durable goods, these shall remain under custody of the body designated by the Superintendence for such purposes."
Translated by Karen Daza
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."