The amendments, which were published in a new law on 30 August
2016, include the introduction of mandatory premerger notification
and a two-phase merger control system, required notification for
acquisitions of minority stakes, criminal penalties for cartel
involvement, an increase in the maximum fine for anticompetitive
conduct, and per se enforcement for interlocks between
competitors under certain circumstances.
The most important amendments for parties doing business in
Chile, and those considering potential transactions in the country,
are the introduction of a mandatory premerger notification to the
National Economic Prosecutor (FNE) and a two-phase merger control
In the past, premerger filings in Chile were voluntary, with
limited exceptions for specific markets. Under the new law, parties
must report a transaction to the FNE prior to its execution when
the sum of both parties' sales in Chile in the prior year is
greater than, or equal to, 1.8 million Chilean units of account
(approximately US$71 million) and both parties' sales in Chile
are greater than or equal to 290,000 Chilean units of account
(approximately US$11 million).
Once the premerger notification has been filed, the new,
two-phase merger control system prohibits parties from closing the
transaction until it has been approved by the FNE or the Chilean
Competition Court. The FNE can investigate a notified transaction
for 30 days, after which it must either approve the transaction or
extend the investigation for another 90 days for a more in-depth
Similar to the reporting requirements included in the new merger
control system, the amendments also require that a party inform the
FNE within 60 days of acquiring an interest representing more than
10 per cent of the equity of a competitor. This obligation only
arises when both the acquiring and acquired parties record annual
revenues in excess of 100,000 Chilean units of account
(approximately US$3.96 million). This provision will allow the FNE
to investigate the potential anticompetitive effects arising from
the acquisition, including the sharing of competitively sensitive
information and increased opportunities for collusion.
Overall, the amendments to the Chilean Competition Law mirror
enforcement techniques that have been effective in other countries.
The FNE president, Felipe Irarrázabal, publicly stated that
the legislation will "Allow us to consolidate our leadership
as a sophisticated agency in Latin America, because it provides us
with all the tools to combat effectively and efficiently any
competition infringement." Companies with businesses in Chile
need to be aware of their new reporting obligations to avoid any
On October 5, 2011, Brazil's Congress approved a new competition law that significantly restructures the landscape of competition enforcement in Brazil. Brazil's Congress will now forward the bill to the desk of President Dilma Rousseff, who has 15 working days to approve or reject the bill.
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