Functions and powers

The functions and powers of the Commission are spelt out in Article 173 and 174 of Chapter 8 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas respectively:


Functions of the Commission

  1. The Commission shall:

    • apply the rules of competition in respect of anti-competitive cross-border business conduct;
    • promote and protect competition in the Community and co-ordinate the implementation of the Community Competition Policy; and
    • perform any other function conferred on it by any competent body of the Community.

  2. In discharging the functions set out in paragraph 1, the Commission shall:

    • monitor anti-competitive practices of enterprises operating in the CSME, and investigate and arbitrate cross-border disputes;
    • keep the Community Competition Policy under review and advise and make recommendations to COTED to enhance its effectiveness;
    • promote the establishment of institutions and the development and implementation of harmonised competition laws and practices by the Member States to achieve uniformity in the administration of applicable rules;
    • review the progress made by the Member States in the implementation of the legal and institutional framework for enforcement;
    • co-operate with competent authorities in the Member States;
    • provide support to the Member States in promoting and protecting consumer welfare;
    • facilitate the exchange of relevant information and expertise; and
    • develop and disseminate information about competition policy, and consumer protection policy.

  3. The Commission may, by directions in writing and subject to such conditions as it thinks fit, delegate any of its functions to one or more of its members.


Powers of the Commission

  1. Subject to Articles 175 and 176, the Commission may, in respect of cross-border transactions or transactions with cross-border effects, monitor, investigate, detect, make determinations or take action to inhibit and penalise enterprises whose business conduct prejudices trade or prevents, restricts or distorts competition within the CSME.

  2. The Commission may, in accordance with applicable national laws, in the conduct of its investigations:

    • secure the attendance of any person before it to give evidence;
    • require the discovery or production of any document or part thereof; and
    • take such other action as may be necessary in furtherance of the investigation.

  3. The Commission may, on the basis of its investigations, make determinations regarding the compatibility of business conduct with the rules of competition and other related provisions of the Treaty.

  4. The Commission shall, to the extent required to remedy or penalise anti-competitive business conduct referred to in Article 177:

    • order the termination or nullification as the case may require, of agreements, conduct, activities or decisions prohibited by Article 170;
    • direct the enterprise to cease and desist from anti-competitive business conduct and to take such steps as are necessary to overcome the effects of abuse of its dominant position in the market, or any other business conduct inconsistent with the principles of fair competition set out in this Chapter;
    • order payment of compensation to persons affected; and
    • impose fines for breaches of the rules of competition.

  5. The Commission may enter into such arrangements for the provision of services as may be necessary for the efficient performance of its functions.

  6. The Member States shall enact legislation to ensure that determinations of the Commission are enforceable in their jurisdictions.

  7. The Commission may establish its own rules of procedure.