Enforcing Chile’s Ban on Competitor Interlocks: The FNE’s First Actions Under Article 3-d) of DL 211 | CeCo

Enforcing Chile’s Ban on Competitor Interlocks: The FNE’s First Actions Under Article 3-d) of DL 211

Michael E. Jacobs Partner, Hinkle Shanor LLP, Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States. J.D., Georgetown University Law Center; M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison; B.A., University of Chicago.

The article analyses the first two complaints brought by the Fiscalía Nacional Económica (FNE) for alleged violations of the prohibition against competitor interlocks contained in the article 3, letter d), of the Chilean Competition Act, DL 211. The FNE´s theories in the two complaints present three important questions of first impression: whether article 3-d) establishes a per se prohibition; if that prohibition reaches “indirect” interlocks cases; and whether article 3-d) applies to both the individuals and the firms involved in a competitor interlock. According to the author, the answers suggested by the FNE to these questions, purely from a policy perspective, are consistent with the experience in the United States with the enforcement of its analogous prohibition, section 8 of the Clayton Act.

El artículo analiza los dos primeros requerimientos presentados por la Fiscalía Nacional Económica (FNE) por presuntas violaciones a la prohibición de interlocking entre competidores contenida en el artículo 3 letra d) de la Ley de Competencia chilena, el DL 211. Las teorías de la FNE en los dos requerimientos presentarían tres importantes preguntas preliminares: si el artículo 3 d) establece una prohibición per se; si dicha prohibición alcanza casos de interlocking “indirectos”; y si el artículo 3 d) se aplica tanto a los individuos como a las empresas involucradas en un caso de interlocking. De acuerdo al autor, desde una perspectiva de política de competencia exclusivamente, las respuestas planteadas por la FNE a estas preguntas serían consistentes con la experiencia de Estados Unidos con la aplicación de su prohibición análoga, la sección 8 de la Clayton Act.

Interpreting a ban on competitor interlocks as reaching at least certain indirect interlocks is important. If the law does not apply, for instance, to a director who is serving simultaneously in two holding companies and is in a position to exercise meaningful control over subsidiaries that compete with one another, the prohibition could be easily evaded. Elevating the formalities of the corporate form over the realities of competition would undermine the objectives of the law”.