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Enforcement Institutions/procedure
Who bemoans competition laws in Latin America?
According to the mainstream explanation of the origin of the Sherman Act, in 1890 the US Congress was persuaded by farmers and other small businesses about the dangers posed by big trusts (especially railroad monopolies) and enacted the first national antitrust law to curtail their market power. However, Stigler (1985) argued that there was modest proof of such account. The origin of the Sherman Act is still an issue of subject of recent revision and debate. While the US case requires to revise what happened more than 100 years ago, other regions in the World have witnessed the passing (or opposition to the enactment) of antimonopoly laws more recently. In Latin America, for example, most of the 22 national competition laws were enacted between the second half of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century. Hence, Latin America offers a more recent story (and perhaps a clearer one) about the interest groups that resist competition law’s enactment and enforcement. Drawing from local press accounts and from a small sample of expert interviews, that I recently conducted to write a paper with A. Palacios-Lleras (UCL), there have been multiple sources of opposition to the enactment or enforcement of competition laws in Latin America. To make a long story short, the opposition is comprised of the usual suspects: large business associations, some sectors that benefit from sector-specific regulation (e.g. agroindustry)