Redefinition of Government Policy on Competition

Published byBarreda Moller

The National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) was created in November 1992 with the stated purpose of consolidating, in a single institution, the management of several agencies specialized in the so-called Competition Law, including industrial property, copyrights, regulation of unfair competition, commercial advertising, consumer protection, free competition and market access, imposition of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy sanctions, regulation of technical matters, such as metrology, and approval of Peruvian technical standards.  As some entities were restructured and merged over time, other responsibilities, such as the conduct of a bankruptcy system, were entrusted to Indecopi.

At its inception, Indecopi represented a major positive change in the manner that the Government used to regulate such several agencies.  The institution and the system were subject to studies and assessments in different countries, some of which planned their own public institutions on the basis of this scheme.  Unfortunately, soon the institution was no longer politically supported and was unable by its own management cadres to strengthen its institutional character or consolidate career paths among its officers and did not create, in the last years, greater predictability in its performance.  The market did not trust in its competence anymore to such an extent that, for specific matters, such as advertising, parallel managed systems were organized to regulate law enforcement.

The Administration of President Humala, who assumed office on July 28, 2011, has informed that the government plan includes re-defining the course of the regulatory agencies, such as Indecopi.  Senior officers have reported that the management of the institution is highly overburdened, mainly in terms of industrial property and consumer protection, and that, at the same time, there is no autonomy in the disposal of resources generated by the institution, which makes it difficult to take efficient action.

It is expected for the next weeks that new administrative authorities will be appointed and that a legislative assessment will be made regarding the most appropriate method of organization and, as a result, certain responsibilities, such as consumer protection and intellectual property management, may be commissioned to new institutions to be created.