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INSIDECOSTARICA.COM | COSTA RICA  NEWS |        Wednesday 17 August 2011

Appliance Manufacturer Mabe Fined

Electrodomésticos Mabeca S.A., owners of the Atlas and Mabe brands, has been fined ¢1.58 billion colones (us$2.3 million dollars), the highest fine imposed by the Ministerio de Economía (MEIC) - Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce - in the country since the establishment of the entity in the nineties.

The fine was handed down by the Comisión para Promover la Competencia (Coprocom) after finding that the acquisition of Atlas by the Mexican Mabe gave way to a company that dominates the market for stoves and refrigerators “of a certain size".

The acquisition leaves the Costa Rican consumer no option with 20" electric and 20" and 30" gas stoves and one door refrigerators less than 11 cubit feet and two door models less than 14 cubit feet.

According to the Commission Mabeca eliminated competition and become a monopoly firm in the sale of stoves and refrigerators.

Ana Victoria Velazquez, Director of the Coprocom, said that (eliminating competition) may have been occurred following the acquisition and was imposed the maximum fine established in law given the gravity of the violation.

Diego Artiñano, general manager of Mabeca called the fine “disproportionate” and said an appeal will be made.

"According to our first look at the decision, we believe it is unfair", said Artiñano, who added that the purchase of Atlas "had no negative impact on the market".

Mexican appliance company Mabe purchased in 2007 all of Atlas Eléctrica's common and preferred shares for a total of us$72 million dollars, which at the time Mabe operated 15 manufacturing plants and company exports to the United States through a partnership with GE, which is a partial shareholder.

Atlas Eléctrica,  founded in Costa Rica in 1961, manufactured and sold kitchen appliances manufactured at a plant in Costa Rica in all of Central America and the Dominican Republic under its Atlas and Centron brands.



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