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​On March 16, a bill which introduces an important reform to Chilean Antitrust Law was signed by the President and sent to Congress. It contains -among others- the following main changes:

  1. It will introduce criminal penalties for individual participant in cartels, with prison time of up to 10 years.
  2. It will introduce mandatory merger control (departing from the current voluntary control), for operations that surpass certain thresholds, not yet determined. A two-phase system is established: a general 25 days review to see if the operation entails any possible antitrust risk and, if that is the case, a thorough 90 days investigation. This control will be performed by the National Economic Prosecutor, and the parties will be entitled to challenge its decision before the Antitrust Court.
  3. It will increase maximum fines applicable to breaches to antitrust law. They will now have a maximum limit of the double of the economic benefit obtained by the breaching party, or to up to 30% of its sales during the period in which the breach occurred (currently, fines have a fixed maximum of approximately US$25 million).
  4. The rule of reason will not longer apply to cartel cases, as those conducts will now be considered per se illegal.
  5. Class actions for breaches to competition will be expressly included in the law.

The discussions in the Congress have started, and the new reform -as amended by Congress-, will probably be enacted on late 2015 or early 2016.


José Joaquín Ugarte is a member of Baker & McKenzie’s Arbitration & Litigation and Antitrust practice groups. Since 2004, he has been involved in numerous complex cases, including international and local arbitration and litigation. In addition to his practice, Mr. Ugarte has been a professor of Civil Law at the Universidad Católica de Chile Law School since 2005, and has also served as speaker in various national and international seminars on international arbitration, litigation, antitrust, civil liabilities, torts and others. Mr. Ugarte is a member of the Chilean Bar Association.


Santiago Ried is a member of the Antitrust & Competition and Dispute Resolution practice groups in the Santiago office of Baker & McKenzie. Mr. Ried has six years of experience in the practice areas of antitrust, dispute resolution, consumer protection and corporate law. He started his practice with Carey y Cía from 2007 to 2010, and then worked for the Chilean government in the Ministry of the General Secretary to the Presidency. He joined Baker & McKenzie in 2013.

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