Nueva Guía de Operaciones de Concentración de la FNE and other developments

Catching up on some recent developments at the FNE. Last week, the agency released the draft of its new Guía de Operaciones de Concentración. The most significant changes include:

una modificación de los capítulos sobre riesgos unilaterales y de coordinación, y la incorporación dentro de los mismos de una nómina de factores informativos sobre los potenciales efectos asociados a una operación horizontal, actualizados según las mejores prácticas internacionales. Dentro del capítulo sobre contrapeso a los riesgos, se incorpora una modificación sobre el análisis de las eficiencias alegadas por las empresas, y un acápite sobre el poder de negociación de los compradores.  En lo relativo a mercado relevante, se reconoce que aquel puede tener una importancia menor tratándose de la determinación de riesgos unilaterales en mercados de productos diferenciados, y, finalmente, en lo concerniente a umbrales de concentración, se elevan los mismos, adecuándolos más a las particularidades de la realidad nacional.

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Re-imagining private damages actions in Chile

Javier Tapia, over at Regulación y Competencia has written another insightful post about the TDLC’s recent ruling in the Tecumseh case. As those of you keeping score at home already know, Tecumseh involved allegations of price-fixing between Whirlpool SA and Tecumseh Do Brasil Ltda, the major suppliers in the Chilean market for low power compressors used in the manufacture of refrigerators. The competition tribunal–known by its Spanish acronym as the TDLC–found that beginning in 2004, both companies began to participate in a global cartel, as well as a regional cartel that directly affected the Chilean market. The case was notable here in that it was the first instance in which a cartel participant (in this instance, Tecumseh) has taken advantage of the FNE’s recently-implemented leniency program and admitted its involvement in an unlawful conspiracy, and provided the competition authorities with information regarding the scheme, in exchange for a fine reduction. (Previously both Whirlpool and Tecumseh had confessed to other competition authorities–in the U.S., Canada, the European Union and New Zealand–to having colluded.) In this case, because Tecumseh was the first in line to approach the FNE and to provide the required assistance, it was eligible to receive a complete exemption from any fines under the leniency program guidelines.

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