Shaping Competition Legislation to the Needs of Small Open Economies: The Case of CARICOM

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Taimoon Stewart


The findings of the study on competition issues undertaken in CARICOM countries confirm that even in micro-economies that are open to imports and foreign direct investment, anti-competitive conducts can be found in the nontradable sector. Moreover, there is persistence in concentration of wealth in the hands of the descendents of the plantocracy, leading to dominance in product markets and abuse of dominance. It was also found that in the non-tradable sectors, mergers leading to excessive concentration or monopolies could be harmful. This paper therefore argues that CARICOM countries would benefit from introducing competition legislation that includes prohibition of anti-competitive agreements, abuse of a dominant market position and merger control regulation. However, findings of the research point to the need to shape the legislation to address the specific types of anti-competitive conducts found, differentiating for welfare-enhancing cooperation amongst firms and addressing socio-economic/socio-political issues.

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