May 1, 2006
Jaime Rubio, Colombia's antitrust chief.Procter & Gamble wasn't expecting major obstacles in purchasing Colgate-Palmolive's Colombian laundry detergent business two years ago. The Cincinnati-based giant had just bought a host of Colgate-Palmolive brands in other countries, including Axion in France, Ajax in Sweden and Dinamo in Italy. Colombia should have been a breeze.
But the deal, which would have given P&G local brands like FAB and Lavomatic, didn't withstand the scrutiny of the country's tough antimonopoly watchdog, the Commerce and Industry Superintendency. The agency knocked down the sale in November 2004, contending that P&G and Colgate already controlled 71% of the marke
While antitrust authorities in many Latin American countries lack teeth, Colombia is cracking down on closed-door deals and price fixing.