Trinidad & Tobago: from the enforcer
Address: Level 12, Nicholas Tower
63-65 Independence Square, Port of Spain
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: +868 6232931 ext. 2202/2232/2234/2236
Fax: +868 6235445
Email: [email protected]
Dr. Ronald Ramkissoon
Email: [email protected]
Mr. Bevan Narinesingh
Email [email protected]
Questions and answers
How long is the head of agency’s term of office?
When is he or she due for reappointment?
He is due for reappointment in 2024.
Which posts within the organisation are political appointments?
The Chairman and the Four (4) Commissioners are appointed by Her Excellency the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
What is the agency’s annual budget?
The agency’s annual budget is approximately Two Million Trinidad and Tobago Dollars ($2,000,000) (Exchange rate of 6.80 TT to 1 USD)
How many staff are employed by the agency?
The present complement is five (5)
To whom does the head of the agency report?
To the Chairman and Commissioners. There is also a reporting obligation to the Ministry of Trade and Industry
Do any industry-specific regulators have competition powers?
Yes the Securities Industry, Telecom Industry, Public Utilities and Banking Industry.
If so, how do these relate to your agency’s role?
Where a merger or an anti-competitive agreement would fall within the purview of the Commission in circumstances where any of the companies involved is a service provider, the Regulated Industries Commission (the regulator of public utilities) shall not make any decision before it consults with the Commission.
May politicians overrule or disregard authority’s decisions? If they have ever exercised this right, describe the most recent example.
Does the law allow non-competition aims to be considered when your agency takes decisions?
Yes, with merger applications.
Which body hears appeals against the agency’s decisions? Is there any form of judicial review beyond that mentioned above? If so, which body conducts this? Has any competition decision by the agency been overturned?
The High Court hears appeals and actions in judicial review of decisions of the Commission. Beyond this level, further appeals of the High Court Decisions would be taken to the Court of Appeal. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the final appellate court. No competition decision by the Commission has been overturned to date.
Has the authority ever blocked a proposed merger? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.
Has the authority ever imposed conditions on a proposed merger? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.
Has the authority conducted a Phase II investigation in any of its merger filings? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.
Has the authority ever pursued a company based outside your jurisdiction for a cartel offence? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.
Do you operate an immunity and leniency programme? Whom should potential applicants contact? What discounts are available to companies that cooperate with cartel investigations?
Is there a criminal enforcement track? If so, who is responsible for it? Does the authority conduct criminal investigations and prosecutions for cartel activity? If not, is there another authority in the country that does?
Are there any plans to reform the competition law?
When did the last review of the law occur?
It is currently under review.
Do you have a separate economics team? If so, please give details.
Has the authority conducted a dawn raid?
Has the authority imposed penalties on officers or directors of companies for offences committed by the company? If yes, please provide the most recent instances.
What are the pre-merger notification thresholds, if any, for the buyer and seller involved in a merger?
Enterprises shall not enter into a merger unless they obtain permission from the Commission where (i) their assets exceed fifty million Trinidad and Tobago dollars; and (ii) at least one of the enterprises carries on or intends to carry on business in Trinidad and Tobago.
Are there any restrictions on investments that involve less than a majority stake in the business?
How many economists do you employ?
The Commission’s Investigator is an Economist and the Executive Director has a post graduate diploma in the Economics of Competition. It should be noted that the Chairman of the Commission possesses a PhD in Economics.
Do you have a separate economics unit, or ‘bureau’?
No, the Commission does not have a separate economics unit.
Do you have a chief economist?
No, the Commission does not have a post of chief economist.
To whom does the chief economist report?
Does the chief economist have the power to hire his or her own staff?
How many economists have a PhD in industrial economics?
None but the Chairman does have a PhD in economics
Does the agency include a specialist economist on every case team? If not, why not?
Yes, persons in the position of Investigator are expected to have at least a Masters degree in Economics and it is expected that an Investigator will be part of every case team.
Is the economics unit a ‘second pair of eyes’ during cases – is it one of the agency’s checks and balances? If not, why not?
There is presently no economics unit.
How much economics work is outsourced? What type of work is outsourced?
Economics work related to competition policy is not outsourced.