Competition and antitrust in Chile
The 22-strong team at full-service heavyweight, Carey, consistently acts in the country's most significant antitrust cases before the Antitrust Court (Tribunal de la Libre Competencia/TDLC) and is well known for its strong relationships with the local authorities. The antitrust group covers merger control, collusion, abuse of dominance position and compliance; and advises clients from sectors that are constantly under the scope of the antitrust authorities, such as retail, pharmaceuticals, telecoms and energy. The two main partners are Claudio Lizana, who regularly litigates before the Antitrust and Supreme courts as well as advising on merger control processes before the National Economic Prosecutor (Fiscalía Nacional Económica/FNE); and current director of the Centre for Antitrust Studies of the Universidad Católica de Chile, Lorena Pavic, who has acted in various headline antitrust cases. At the associate level, José Pardo and Virginia Rivas particularly stand out.
‘The Carey team has solid knowledge of free competition regulations, providing a clear and complete analysis every time they have been asked for advice. It is a highly prepared team that thoroughly studies the company’s processes in order to give an adequate response, allowing us to make decisions in an informed manner and with legal backing.’
‘What best describes the Carey team is its commitment to the client and the speed and ability to adjust to customer requirements. Having worked with multiple studios and free competition teams, it far exceeds the rest.’
‘Carey’s competition team stands out for its efficiency, effectiveness, commitment, seriousness and depth in the analysis of issues, as well as business knowledge, customer orientation and empathy with business needs.’
‘They have the ability to facilitate and make complex issues tangible, with a vision of both Chilean and international regulations, as well as knowledge of different industries and businesses both locally and globally.’
‘Lorena Pavic as team leader, ensures with clarity, depth, simplicity, effectiveness and efficiency that her team provides the highest standard of legal services in these matters.’
‘Lorena Pavic is a great professional, who is clear, precise and tremendously prepared on free competition matters. Likewise, her advice is carried out in simple and highly illustrative terms, which allows us to understand better each of the topics she presents.’
‘Associate José Pardo is a very solid, thoughtful and studious professional, with very deep knowledge of free competition. He also stands out for being permanently up-to-date on procedures carried out by the FNE.’
Tianqi Lithium Corporation
The Walt Disney Company
Ideal – Grupo Bimbo
- Advised The Walt Disney Company on a mandatory FNE merger control procedure concerning its global acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox.
- Defended Socofar against an antitrust lawsuit alleging abuse of dominance brought by several franchisees before the Antitrust Court for alleged abuse of dominance.
- Assisted International Business Machines with a mandatory merger control procedure before the FNE regarding its acquisition of open source software products company Red Hat.
- Defended Cencosud against an FNE antitrust claim alleging participation in a hub-and-spoke cartel with supermarket chains Walmart Chile and SMU.
- Advised EssilorLuxottica on the merger control procedure related to its global acquisition of Hal Optical Investments’ majority stake in GrandVision.
Fielding a 14-strong department, Claro & Cia. has long been a market leader for competition and antitrust matters and enjoys close relations with the antitrust authorities. Key areas of strength include high-profile cases involving horizontal and vertical integration, collusion, price discrimination, major merger control filings and settlement agreements, antitrust investigations, and regulatory compliance. Cristóbal Eyzaguirre, who has broad experience in complex antitrust litigation and investigations, including cross-border cases, co-leads the department with José Miguel Huerta, who has acted for clients in Chile, US and Europe in government proceedings and investigations involving mergers and cartels. Key contentious support is provided by Santiago Bravo, who was made partner in January 2020, and associate Álvaro Vives.
Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores
Empresas CMPC / CMPC Tissue
Asociación Nacional de Fútbol Profesional
Compañía Cervecerías Unidas
Asociación de Industriales Pesqueros
Entel PCS Comunicaciones
Banco Itaú Corpbanca
- Acted for Agrosuper, Chile’s largest poultry producer, in an antitrust damages lawsuit initiated by Chile’s Consumer Protection Agency, which alleged that a poultry producers’ cartel sanctioned by the Supreme Court in 2015 damaged Chilean consumers.
- Currently representing CMPC in a contentious proceeding related to alleged collusion in the tissue paper market.
- Acted for LATAM in several antitrust matters, including three separate investigations conerning the cargo market, frequent flyer programmes and its existing alliance with American Airlines.
- Represented CSAV in a successful leniency application.
- Successfully represented leading Chilean brewer, CCU, in an appeal challenging the Chilean Antitrust Agency’s prohibition of the acquisition of Nutrabien (a CCU subsidiary) by multinational baking company Bimbo Group.
FerradaNehme's experienced, multidisciplinary team is directed by name partner Nicole Nehme, and supported by partners Diego Hernández (a member of the firm's antitrust, fair competition and economic regulation practice group since 2007) and Benjamín Mordoj, a specialist in cartels, abuse of dominant position and M&A-related antitrust issues. The group - which also includes economist Elisa Greene who was hired from the TDLC in 2019 - has participated in some of the largest cases before the FNE and TDLC, including investigations and antitrust litigation; it also routinely provides legal opinions on antitrust issues, and assists with voluntary procedures, M&A-related clearances, antitrust compliance, and dumping and safeguards. The team's strength in depth is reflected in a second line of experienced antitrust practice directors: Mabel Ahumada, whose background includes various positions at the FNE; Sebastián Dufeu, who focuses on the specialist telecom-related competition matters; litigator Tomás Pérez and Josefina Campos, whose experience includes joint ventures, mergers and abuse-of-dominant-position matters.
Delta Air Lines
- Advising Delta Air Lines on FNE notifiation procedures related to it’s acquisition of a 20% stake in Latam Airlines in December 2019 and their subsequent establishment of a joint, and in relation to the associated FNE investigation.
- Ongoing representation of Cargill’s Chilean subsidiary, Evos Chile Alimentos, before the TDLC in relation to the ongoing proceedings arising from the FNE’s investigation of cartel activity in the salmon farming sub-sector between 2003 and 2015.
- Representing Walmart Chile before the TDLC and the Supreme Court with regard to allegedly anti-competitive hub-and-spoke practices in the poultry sector.
- Representing VTR Comunicaciones in a contentious proceeding brought by content provider AMC Networks Latin America before the TDLC alleging that VTR has breached one of the conditions of it’s 2004 merger with Metrópolis Intercom.
- Representing Transbank in a non-contentious proceeding before the TDLC and at the Supreme Court, regarding the review of the self-regulated prices that Transbank charges to merchants for credit and debit card acceptance.
Boutique law firm Pellegrini & Cía. specialises in competition and antitrust, including dispute resolution. The team fields six attorneys (including three partners) who are widely respected for their experience in cases and investigations involving exclusionary practices, cartels, mergers and regulatory proceedings. It is also particularly active in the design and implementation of compliance programs for multinational and local companies. All well-known and highly regarded figures, Julio Pellegrini is a former President of the Chilean Bar Association's Antitrust/Competition Commission, Pedro Rencoret is a specialist in antitrust litigation and regulated markets, and Francisco Blavi covers all aspects of competition and antitrust litigation. Strong support at associate level is provided by Fernando Gazzella (who joined from Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr in 2019), Diego Ramos and María Jesús Cifuentes.
- Represented the Chilean Association of Tourism Companies in the Supreme Court’s rejection of joint business agreements signed between LATAM Airlines, American Airlines, Iberia and British Airways.
- Defended Sun Dreams (one of the biggest hotels and casino operators in Chile) against an antitrust suit for abuse of dominant position and unfair competition brought by Enjoy before the TDLC.
- Represented Sølvtrans (the world’s largest wellboat company for the transportation of live salmon and trout) in an antitrust lawsuit filed before the TDLC against six competitors and their trade association.
- Advised Farmacias Ahumada in a non-contentious procedure before the Competition Court to re-evaluate the fees that payments provider Transbank charges to pharmacies.
- Acting for Vitapro, a fish feed producer, in a cartel case before the Competition Court.
Baker McKenzie Chile
Baker McKenzie Chile fields an experienced, multidisciplinary six-strong team, including litigation partner and practice head Rodrigo Díaz de Valdés and Diego Ferrada, whose experience includes merger control proceedings. The practice regularly participates in merger control filings and post-merger integrations, and has broad experience in antitrust and anti-competitive practices and conduct mandates; it has also been increasingly involved in FNE investigations. The practice stands out for its global reach, which allows timely co-ordination of leniency applications. Key support comes from senior associate Juan Ignacio Donoso, a former deputy head of the FNE's antitrust division.
‘This team is great for free market and antitrust issues, and the prestige of this office transcends borders.’
Security Corredora de Seguros
Sociedad de Productores Fonograficos y Videograficos de Chile
- Acted for Security Corredora de Seguros in an FNE investigation into anti-competitive conduct in the mortgage insurance market.
- Advised Swiss chemicals conglomerate Sika on the merger control procedure related to its acquisition of competitor, Parex.
- Defended SCA (now Essity) against class actions filed by Chile’s consumer protection agency SERNAC and consumer’s association Conadecus for damages caused by a tissue product cartel.
Barros & Errázuriz is a widely esteemed full-service law firm that has longstanding experience in antitrust matters in Chile, including major cases before the TDLC, FNE investigations , merger control matters and compliance. It particularly stands out for its expertise in the telecoms sector but has also been involved in market investigations involving the water and sewage, gas and card payment sectors. The nine-strong group is led by litigation and arbitration specialist Luis Eduardo Toro; long specialized in competition matters he leads on all matters. Key support comes from senior associate Francisco Bórquez, who focuses exclusively on competition law. The team can also call on the extensive experience of senior partner, dispute resolution expert José Tomás Errázuriz, particularly in relation to regulated sectors such as telecoms and energy.
Other key lawyers:
‘It is a very good team, with high knowledge of this area and very good management and communication with the authorities. It is important to point out and congratulate the good response time to enquiries.’
‘The practice is very favourable as it has a team of people led by professionals with previous experience in regulatory bodies.’
‘They have an excellent strategic capacity and business vision, which makes them comprehensive advisers. In free competition, they have also been involved in key cases and know the authorities well.’
‘It compares favourably given the strong relations of the firm with companies from various industries.’
‘Luis Eduardo Toro’s qualities are being always available to clients and solving any doubts and queries that arise in different cases.’
‘Francisco Bórquez is the senior associate who looks after our day-to-day operations, with immediate availability for clients and always updated on different cases. He is an outstanding lawyer for free competition issues.’
‘Francisco Bórquez stands out for his commitment and in-depth knowledge of free competition law, nationally and internationally, and from the perspective of both the business and the regulator. He is very complete, committed and with great delivery – a high level lawyer!’
Sociedad Austral de Electricidad
- Advised Inversiones GAC on the antitrust aspects of the notification before the FNE of the acquisition of Automotora Comercial Costabal y Echeñique and Importadora Costabal y Echeñique.
- Advised Biomar Chile on the antitrust issues of its FNE merger-control filing concerning its acquisition of shares in Alitec Pargua from Empresas AquaChile.
- Advised both France-based CMA CGM and Switzerland’s CEVA Logistics on the antitrust aspects of the FNE filing concerning CMA’s acqisition of CEVA.
Bulnes, Urrutia & Bustamante
Established in 2006, Bulnes, Urrutia & Bustamante has a significant and widely respected competition practice. The team regularly assists with complex antitrust investigations and litigation, consultative and preventive requests, and merger control; it is also active in the design and implementation of compliance programmes, and fields sector experts in construction, energy and finance, among others. Name partner Felipe Bulnes has acted for high-profile corporations in headline antitrust cases for some 20 years; his fellow lead partners, Enrique Urrutia and José Manuel Bustamante, are similarly experienced with 15 years' experience each. Recent mandates have seen the team active in the agricultural, cement, fisheries, insurance, ports and payments sectors, among others.
The 12-strong group at Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos is vastly experienced in merger control matters, and cartel and abuse of dominance cases. Building on the firm's large base of consumer goods clients, the team has extensive knowledge of the retail industry and has also - thanks to the skill-sets of practice head Juan Cristóbal Gumucio - developed notable expertise and understanding of the interplay between competition law and IP rights. Gumucio can call on a knowledgeable second tier which includes key associates Elías Astudillo (particularly cartel and abuse of dominance cases), Camila Rojas (merger control), and Catalina González (merger control and compliance). Pedro Lluch exited to EY Legal in June 2020.
‘The Cariola study team is characterized by having specialized knowledge in the area of competition and antitrust law and by being recognized as one of the best lawyer teams in this area.’
‘They stand out for being able to provide advice that gives added value to the business in an efficient and timely manner. They are great for their availability and adequate use of resources, with first-rate professionals.’
‘It is a small team but highly specialized in this field. The biggest plus is that they care about knowing their client’s business in depth, which allows for more detail in the advice.’
The Coca-Cola Company
Marina del Sol
- Acted for American Airlines on the FNE filing surrounding its joint business agreement with LATAM Airlines.
- Represented Unilever Chile in an abuse of dominance case.
- Assisted Praxair with the FNE approval of its merger with Linde.
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría's competition team, which has significantly expanded its client and transaction portfolio of late, is highly specialised in both competition-related litigation and merger control procedures. A specialist in both Chilean and European competition law, Ignacio Larraín, oversees the practice group and has led on various significant cases before the TDLC. Key support is provided by Álvaro Espinosa, who was recently promoted from senior to principal associate and has extensive competition law experience. Additional growth saw the promotion of competition-dedicated Gabriel Budnik and Catalina Montero (competition/corporate) to senior associate level.
‘The competition law team led by Ignacio Larraín is excellent. The team constantly shows itself attentive to the needs of clients, offering pragmatic and, especially, useful solutions. Without a doubt, one of the best teams for defending free competition in Chile.’
‘We like the accuracy of advice and clarity in strategies. It is difficult to find a team that works as clearly and efficiently as the PPU team.’
‘We appreciate the quality of customer service, the rigour and seriousness of their strategy and work. They are professionals and know our business.’
‘The quality of service is impressive. They are always available, interested in the details of the business and are proactive in their efforts.’
‘It is a younger team than that of the other major firms in the country, with plans to innovate and keep up to date with the latest trends in the area of free competition. In this sense, I see more chance for progress than other firms and at the same time the flexibility to adapt to new trends.’
‘It seems to me that the lawyers of the firm like what they do and try to move forward with new ideas. This I have seen clearly in the case of Ignacio Larraín and Álvaro Espinosa. I think that year after year they should increase their prominence within the practice of antitrust law.’
‘Álvaro Espinosa (one of the senior members of this team) is a very clear lawyer, with extensive experience and with extremely clear ideas and strategies.’
HAL Optical Investments
Nova Scotia Inversiones
Thyssenkrupp / Tata Steel
Iberoamericana Radio Chile
Sociedad de Inversiones Los Orientales
Comercializadora Nutreco Chile
Iberomericana Radio Chile
Bío Bío Comunicaciones
Empresa Nacional de Energía Enex
- Acted for Banco Santander-Chile in four different abuse of dominance proceedings before the TDLC.
- Advised HAL Optical Investments on the merger filing concerning the sale of its 76.72% interest in GrandVision to EssilorLuxottica and launch of a mandatory public offer for the remaining shares upon completion of the transaction.
- Defended Sociedad de Inversiones Los Orientales against a competition proceeding for breach of duty to notify minority shareholdings.
Prieto Abogados' four-strong team is consistently engaged by large companies to advise on contentious and non-contentious cases before the TDLC, with recent matters involving the retail, agriculture/dairy products, energy, banking and transport sectors. It is also experienced in acting before the FNE in cartel and abuse of dominant positions, and assisting with merger control reviews and compliance programmes. Benjamín Grebe heads the antitrust group, which includes recently promoted partner Nicolás Yuraszeck, who is experienced in merger review processes, and associate Santiago Errázuriz, who relocated from the firm's litigation department. Since publication, the team has been further strengthened with the hire of associate Andrea von Chrismar from Quintanilla & Busel Niedmann in December 2020.
‘The Prieto team presents a high degree of professionalism, demonstrating great analytical and argumentative skills, complying within the required deadlines with a very good level of work, in addition to having a very good treatment and understanding of the requirements of clients.’
‘The service offered was first-rate; the entire team was involved in understanding the different problems that we exposed to them, investigating and contributing different points of view.’
‘Benjamín Grebe is the lawyer in charge of the free competition area. He demonstrates great mastery of the issues specific to his area, as well as conviction when proposing strategy, and flexibility in listening to different arguments and integrating different visions into a solid proposal.’
- Acted for Banco Internacional before the TDLC in a lawsuit brought by crypto-currency companies for alleged anti-competitive practices.
- Advised Puertos y Logísticas on the FNE approval of its joint venture with shipping company, CMA.
- Assisted Watt’s with its request to the TDLC to rule on future conditions in the milk market, particularly the publication of price guidelines for the purchase of raw milk in Chile.
Bofill, Mir & Álvarez Jana's six-strong competition and antitrust team is led by TMT specialist Guillermo de la Jara. The group has been active in merger control matters, recently (particularly in the logistics, mining, consumer products, real estate, forestry and construction sectors); competition compliance; anti-competitive behaviour investigations; and associated litigation and civil claims. Co-head of the firm's dispute resolution practice, Rodrigo Gil is increasingly involved in significant antitrust and unfair competition cases, while former FNE litigator Daniela Severin is the senior associate to note.
‘The main point that I highlight is that the team worked very well with the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office, which helped us anticipate the different scenarios that were presented to us and ultimately led us to have a successful procedure without many surprises.’
‘They do their work very well, with good and accurate recommendations that take into account legal frameworks.’
‘We like their experience and knowledge of regulations, and they explicitly show us all pros and cons. We have only worked with this team of lawyers since its professionalism and work capabilities are optimal.’
‘Great for their commitment to us, responsiveness, and soft-conflict management skills.’
‘Guillermo de la Jara has great capacity for legal and strategic argumentation when presenting cases.’
‘Daniela Severin is very good technically.’
Compañía de Seguros Confuturo
Hipotecaria La Construcción
- Acted for Televisión Interactiva (TVI) and Filmocentro Televisión in a competition suit against VTR Comunicaciones (VTR) concerning VTR’s decision to remove four of TVI’s specialty channels from its platform.
- Advised Lucec Tres – part of the Solari Group – on the merger control procedure concerning the acquisition of control over Clínica Las Condes.
- Acted for ANADI, an association of independent dialysis centres, in relation to an antitrust claim alleging public bid-related collusion filed by the National Health Fund (FONASA) before the FNE.
Bordoli Doren Abogados
A spin-off established by former FerradaNehme partners back in 2014, Bordoli Doren Abogados is a competition, regulated markets and public procurement boutique with particular sector experience in banking, energy, retail, healthcare and transportation, among other areas. Carla Bordoli has over 20 years' experience and demonstrates particular expertise in the telecoms sector. Bordoli regularly advises on antitrust compliance programmes, and both she and fellow name partner Cristián Doren are recommended for FNE investigations and TDLC cases. Ongoing matters includes advising Chileactores and Corporación de Directores y Guionistas Audiovisuales as an interested party in a non-contentious TDLC proceeding initiated by ANATEL regarding the regulation of IP usage fees; following the Tribunal's finding against the plaintiff in June 2019, the case has now gone to appeal.
Corporación de Directores y Guionistas Audiovisuales
Rigel Insurance Company
Burgos Insurance Brokers
- Advising trade association ARMASUR in a case brought by Solvtrans before the TDLC alleging collusion and anti-competitive practices by six companies in the aquaculture sub-sector concerned with the live transport of salmon by sea (‘wellboats’).
- Advising Rigel Insurance Company and broker Burgos Insurance in an action filed by the FNE against Banco BCI alleging abuse of dominant market position due to its exclusion of a participant from an insurance bidding process related to mortgage loans.
Contreras Velozo launched its competition and regulation department in 2018 when it recruited experienced advisers Javier Velozo and Pablo Pardo from Aninat Schwencke & Cia. Now six-strong, the practice group handles merger control, abuse of dominance, collusion, non-contentious proceedings and follow-on damages litigation, among other matters. The team has particular expertise in regulated network industries, advising corporates and government bodies on energy, gas, transport and banking, as well as in telecoms where the firm advises key players such main Chilean telecoms provider, Movistar. Both dispute resolution specialist Pardo and former TDLC judge Velozo have considerable experience across the spectrum of competition and anti-trust matters. Also noted are 2019 associate hires Francisca Lobos and María de Los Ángeles Figueroa; both have previous experience at the FNE.
Eukor Car Carriers
Empresas de Factoring
- Reresenting Eukor Car Carriers in a case brought by the FNE accusing six car-carrier companes of anti-competitive market sharing agreements within the the context of a global cartel; the TDLC dismissed the case in April 2019 and a Supreme Court decision on the subsequent appeal is pending.
- Representing Telefónica (Movistar) in a range of matters including a number of non-contentious proceedings initiated by entities such as SUBTEL and ANATEL; the defence of two ‘margin squeeze’ cases brought by MVNOs; and follow-on litigation.
The six-strong team at Morales & Besa is experienced in advising on merger and concentration transactions, representation in litigious matters, and compliance. Gonzalo Cordero has vast experience in competition matters before the Competition Tribunal; and recently promoted partner María José Henríquez is the former anti-cartel unit head of the FNE, where she led complex and high-profile collusive conduct investigations.
‘This team is highly specialized and possesses superior expertise to other law firms, in terms of its knowledge, practical experience and ability to develop extremely complex free competition analysis.’
‘Lawyers with exceptional competence, great ability to solve clients’ problems in the most correct way and exceptional skills as litigants.’
Iron Mountain Chile
SSA Holdings International Chile
Unión Nacional de Artistas
- Advised VivoCorp, the real estate subsidiary of Corpgroup, on the antitrust clearance for a joint venture agreement.
- Defended Naviera Orca, which operates vessels that are dedicated to the maritime transportation of live salmon, against alleged collusion litigation.
- Advised Union Nacional de Artistas before the Chilean Supreme Court on a non-contentious proceeding initiated by an association of television stations in relation to the regulation of fees for using IP rights.
Ugarte & Correa
The August 2019 departure of former name partner Santiago Ried to Dentons has not slowed the progress of the young competition and dispute resolution boutique now known as Ugarte & Correa. In a landmark Supreme Court decision in late 2019, the nine-strong team overturned an FNE ruling to deny it's client - Sweden's SCA - leniency in the long-running tissue paper cartel case by successfully arguing the existence of economic coercion by fellow defendant and cartel organizer CMPC, which has as a result been stripped of the leniency benefits it had been granted. The ruling constituted a rare cartel case defeat for the FNE. José Joaquín Ugarte and Pablo Correa co-lead the practice; both handle a broad array of disputes and competition work - particularly complex antitrust litigation and investigations - although Ugarte, formerly a partner at Baker McKenzie, has the more competition-oriented profile.
- Acted for life insurance company Rigel Seguros de Vida in an FNE investigation concerning mortgage-related life insurance offered by banks.
- Acted for Pfizer in antitrust litigation arising from a market investigation in the medical sector and concerning Pfizer’s refusal to provide sensitive data to the FNE.
Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr's competition team numbers six attorneys - including two partners - and is well known for its assistance with merger control notifications and antitrust investigations but also reaches into international unfair competition matters (anti-dumping and safeguard cases - generally handled by international trade practice) that are also handled by the FNE. The department also advises on the implementation of compliance programs. Gonzalo Rencoret and Nicholas Mocarquer co-head the practice, drawing key support from associate Bernardita Schmidt. Former associate Raul Gómez left to become legal counsel at Mastercard.
‘It is a very professional team and gets involved in its work to the level of being as prepared as the best managers of a company. Compared to other law firms, they are very agile in their responses and with their background preparation.’
‘They are very co-ordinated, responsible and always attentive to the smallest detail, which generates total confidence in their work. They are available 24/7.’
‘They are always available and provide efficient solutions to potential problems that may arise.’
‘Nicholas Mocarquer has good working knowledge of how the authorities work in Chile.’
Minera Escondida Limitada
- Assisted Minera Escondida, as local importer and user of steel grinding balls, with an alleged dumping conduct investigation before the National Commission responsible for the investigation of the existence of price distortions of imported goods.
- Acted for Agrícola Valle Nuevo, a real estate company, (as plaintiff) in an unfair competition action against three other real estate companies.
- Advising all parties in the merger control clearance of the merger between Aircastle and a joint venture between Marubeni and Mizuho Leasing.
Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Ovalle, Salas & Vial
Following its reorganisation in 2018, Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Ovalle, Salas & Vial has emerged as a dedicated competition and disputes firm that, arguably is at its strongest in the construction and infrastructure sector - although it works across the breadth of competition matters. Indeed, the practice has been increasingly to the fore since 2016 reforms enacted mandatory merger control, and placed greater importance upon interlocking and cross-holdings in its analyses. The six-strong, deeply experienced partner-heavy team is led by litigators Gerardo Ovalle and Anibal Vial, who both have considerable competition experience, both advisory and contentious. Current matters include advising the Cámara Chilena de la Construcción (among other trade associations) on the development of its antitrust compliance program. The team can also call on senior partner Arturo Yrarrázaval, whose former experience includes time as a judge at the Competition Tribunal.
‘Small, dedicated, committed and highly-qualified team for complex litigation that involves interaction with other disciplines, such as construction and economics. In particular, they have a great understanding of economic issues, probably the most developed law firm in terms of their economic instincts, which gives them a great advantage in complex cases where these issues are of gravity.’
‘It is a small and very cohesive team. It is common for more than one partner to be involved in each case. For that reason, I do not distinguish between partners and associates. I believe that their advantage or difference is the very high dedication to the client and their full understanding of the complex problems that afflict them, especially when the problems have an economic component, an area in which they excel compared to their competitors.’
‘As for the specific team, it should be noted that they have vast experience as we point out, but also specific knowledge in terms of competence, since they are pre and post graduate professors at different universities in the country, both on economics and competition. It should be added that Yrarrázaval’s lawyers know the area of competition – in the country and in different sectors – very well, since they have dealt with cases of the most varied range (health, construction, telecommunications, new technologies, cryptocurrency, etc). At the same time, it is important to note that they are passionate about issues related to free competition. The foregoing means that in each assignment (be it consultation, meeting, memorandum or presentation to the court), it does so rigorously, in a well-founded and documented manner. Finally, the ones with whom I have worked the most (and I will continue to work) and who deserve to stand out as outstanding, is with partners Gerardo Ovalle and Aníbal Vial.’
‘Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Ovalle, Salas & Vial (Y&Cía) is a boutique firm highly specialized in complex litigation and free competition, with highly experienced and prestigious partners. Unlike other studios, with Y&Cía one can trust that more than one partner will be directly involved in each assignment, which gives a great guarantee in complex cases where the joint look is usually especially important. As M&A lawyers, it is our recurrent responsibility to deal with the free competition component of the operations we advise, particularly in matters of preventive control of mergers. We have entrusted many of these matters to Y&Cía who have always responded in a very timely manner (an issue that is rarely seen in the market) and with a very high-quality standard. It is probably one of the best free competition teams in Chile.’
‘I think that the great ability to work as a team, the deep knowledge they have in antitrust matters and their experience in dealing with highly complex cases (even as cross-border components), are the greatest qualities that I could highlight of the team, in addition to the great human quality of each of its members. I believe that, unlike some of their competitors, in Y&Cía they take on each case they take with great commitment, whether it is a simple query or a complex case of free competition. In other words, when you entrust them with a case or query, you are certain that the partners will always be very involved, who assume responsibility for cases down to the smallest details. Regarding the free competition team, it is worth highlighting Gerardo Ovalle and Aníbal Vial.’
‘Antitrust expertise and business insight, clear, timely and focused advising. Down to earth fees and invoicing practices.’
Cámara Chilena de la Construcción (CChC)
Camara Nacional de Comercio (CNC)
- Representing the trade association Cámara Chilena de la Construcción before the Competition Tribunal with regard to a proposition to modify Decreto Supremo No.75, which regulates the infrastructure public bid system, an area in which the state currently spends $2bn per annum.
- Representing international scaffolding group At-Pac before the Competition Tribunal in a unfair competion claim concerning its leading competitor and dominant market position.
- Representing business trade association Camara Nacional de Comercio before the Antitrust Court regarding a proposition to modify Intellectual Property Law N°17.336.
Coeymans, Edwards, Poblete & Dittborn
The four-strong competition and antitrust department at Coeymans, Edwards, Poblete & Dittborn is led by name partner Juan Enrique Coeymans, who is experienced in high-profile cartel and abuse of dominance cases. Highly appreciated by clients, Coeymans also assists with compliance matters, and has sector expertise in retail and distribution, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and real estate.
‘In my opinion, what a lawyer who is dedicated to competition law must have is deep technical knowledge in addition to the legal and regulatory aspects. That undoubtedly marks the difference of this firm, where partner Juan Enrique Coeymans has said competencies.’
‘The great plus of the partner with whom I have had to work, Juan Enrique Coeymans, is his extremely high analytical (economic) capacity and knowledge of current regulations. I think that sets the firm apart from competitors. Another very relevant aspect is that it provides the same service as its direct competitors, which are very large firms at another price level.’
‘Juan Enrique Coeymans is a deep connoisseur of the rules that regulate and sanction free competition, which allowed us to receive accurate and adequate professional advice from him.’
‘Juan Enrique Coeymans was precise and clear in the advice he gave us, which allowed us to make an informed decision.’
BICE Renta Urbana
- Advised Icafal Inversiones and Constructora Conpax on the merger notification procedure concerning their joint venture.
It's refounding as Correa Squella (following the departure of former founder-partner Martin Gubbins to pursue a non-legal career) in mid-2019 has not interrupted the continuity of service provision from the five-strong dispute resolution and antitrust department co-led by founding partner Juan Ignacio Correa and Jorge Sepúlveda, who was recently appointed as the firm's newest - and youngest - partner. Thanks in large part to new name partner Carolina Squella's leading practice in the ports sector, the practice group has a predominant role in maritime logistics competition issues; nevertheless, it is also active in other industry sectors (most recently retail and telecoms), across all aspects of contentious competition work. Key support comes from dual-qualified (Chile/New York), competition-dedicated senior associate Carla López.
‘They have a good, young team, led by a very experienced partner. That makes them superior to offices that do not have a team, but only a lawyer who knows the subject.’
‘Juan Igancio Correa stands out for his skills as a litigator, with excellent presentations in hearings.’
‘Senior associate Carla López combines knowledge in free competition with experience.’
Telefónica Móviles Chile
Empresa Portuaria San Antonio
Empresa Portuaria Antofagasta
Empresa Portuaria Puerto Montt
Empresa Portuaria Chacabuco
Empresa Portuaria Austral
- Acted for Chilean company, Redtec, which rents wooden quality pallets for the transportation of goods, in a claim for abuse of dominant position against Walmart Chile.
Handling M&A control and filings before the competition authorities, the representation of clients in investigations carried out by the FNE, and antitrust litigation before the TDLC and the Supreme Court, the team at DLA Piper Chile is most active in the consumer product manufacture, pharmaceutical, telecoms, tech, chemicals and energy industries. It has also recently developed an antitrust/competition compliance offering that undertakes training, internal investigations and economic behavioral analysis. The office's regulated markets and antitrust department is co-led by Felipe Bahamondez and counsel Carolina Bawlitza, a 2018-hire from the FNE where she worked in investigations, M&A control and leniency matters during the course of a decade. Former counsel Blanca Palumbo left to join the National Electricity Coordinator (CEN) as counsel in October 2019. However, since publication, the team has been further strengthened with the October-2020 hire of Sofia O’Ryan; with over a decade's experience in the sector, she arrives from the FNE where she was coordinator of the antimonopolistic practices' dvision.
‘A very good and complete team with very experienced lawyers.’
Cornershop Technologies / Cornershop, Delivery Technologies
Zurich Insurance Group
- Defended Uber against an unfair competition claim, which was brought by a taxi drivers’ union.
Estudio Lewin Abogados
Re-founded in late 2018 when the firm unwound its merger into what was then DLA Piper BAZ|NLD, corproate and competition boutique Estudio Lewin Abogados is experienced in advising on merger clearance, collusion, abuse of dominant position, and FNE and TDLC matters. The practice is co-led by name partner Nicolas Lewin and Fernando Araya, whose former experience includes a decade at the FNE; he has particular expertise in collusion matters related to public contracts and tenders. Ongoing matters include defending Baxter in an FNE procedure concerning alleged bid rigging in relation to Chile's public health system, and advising Falabella Group on competition matters related to the sale of its travel agency Viajes Falabella to Despegar.com; the team also represented Salcobrand in the recently resolved, multi-party, Transbank 'merchant discount' case.
- Advised Salcobrand in the non-contentious, multi-party TDLC case regarding Transbank’s ‘merchant discount’ payment structures.
González & Rioseco
Competition and dispute resolution boutique González & Rioseco regularly acts in proceedings before the TDLC and the Supreme Court and is also experienced in FNE investigations and merger clearances. Active across a broad swathe of industries, it is particular prominent in the telecoms, banking and maritme sectors, in particular, where it works with key clients Entel, Scotiabank Chile and CPT, respectively. The team is led by Andrés Rioseco; a 15-year veteran of the sector, he regularly handles complex antitrust procedures of all types. Key associate-level support comes from Valentina Guevara who has worked alongside Rioseco since 2013, and the team can also call on founding partner Francisco González, who has longstanding experience in antitrust cases.
CMC (formerly CCNI)
CPT Empresas Marítimas
- Acted for Scotiabank in its Competition Court claim against Banco Estado which alleges exploitative practices in relation to wire transfer-related interbank fees.
Guerrero Olivos' four-strong team focuses primarily on competition advisory work, the representation of clients before the FNE and merger control procedures. Recent matters include advising Western Union International, as third party to an antitrust proceeding that involved alleged exclusionary conduct. The principal advisers are Pedro Pellegrini, the lead partner for antitrust, corporate governance and compliance matters at the firm; and recently promoted partner Tomás Kubick, head of the firm's consumer protection practice, who acts across the corporate, compliance and competition sectors. However, senior associate and former deputy FNE national economic prosecutor Jaime Barahona left to join the competition court (TDLC) in June 2020.
Volvo Financial Services
Minera Los Pelambres
Kumon Instituto de Educación de Chile
- Assisted Compañía General de Electricidad with compliance matters.
- Advised the Association of Surgeons of Valparaiso on the implementation of a cartel case settlement.
Ortúzar, Vergara & Boetsch Abogados
Ortúzar, Vergara & Boetsch Abogados consistently acts in investigations before the FNE, particularly in relation to the banking and financial markets, and the pharmaceuticals, retail, food, energy, entertainment, transport, and paper sectors. Other key areas include antitrust litigation, compliance programmes, merger clearances and day-to-day advisory work. Veteran disputes specialist Alvaro Ortúzar and reputed litigator Nicolás Vergara -name-partners' both- are the key contacts, along with Juan Sebastián Valdés, 'a competent, thorough, free competition lawyer' particularly noted for his antitrust expertise. The team was further strengthened with the hire of associate María Elena Pinares in April 2020.
‘It is a good law firm, made up of competent lawyers, who know the subjects on which they advise well.’
‘They are friendly and easy to contact. They are a small team of excellent professionals, dedicated 100% to your case and clients’ needs. They only work on complex litigation cases, including antitrust. Their understanding of economic issues is superlative, giving them a clear advantage against the rest in matters in which finance is a key issue.’
‘They fully understand the legal issues in all their aspects, understand the problems of each company, and develop strategies to enhance clients’ actions and eventual conflicts. They also win trials.’
‘The team is proactive in looking for solutions and understanding technical issues that go beyond this area, giving them a clearer picture of the problems being dealt with.’
‘Juan Sebastián Valdés empathises with clients, fully understanding clients’ problems and thinking up solutions in accordance.’
‘This office has a lawyer with a lot of experience in free competition: Juan Sebastián Valdés. He is a competent, thorough free competition lawyer, who is hard-working and experienced.’
Sociedad Nacional de Pesca
Celulosa Arauco y Constitución
Compañía Marítima Chilena
- Successful defence of agro-industrial company Empresas Ariztía in an $800m antitrust damages case brought by Chilean Consumer Agency SERNAC following a confirmatory Supreme Court ruling against the company for participating in a cartel; the team is now acting for the client in related class actions brought before the TDLC by consumer associations CONADECUS and FOJUCC.
PAGBAM Schwencke Chile
2019-arrivals at the former Aninat Schwencke Abogados, senior counsel Sander van der Voorde and Alejandra Vallejos joined Schwencke & Cía when the former firm divided in early 2020. The pair, along with associate Sebastian Ruiseñor who completes the small team, offer the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious competition work, with a focus on cartel investigations and merger control. Van der Voorde has over 25 years' international experience in competition matters, including in Europe and the US; while Vallejos brings experience from the public sector, notably the Ministry of Economy and National Economic Prosecutor's Office, and is specialized in regulated markets, compliance, tech and data. The pair, who are both also digital forensics experts, have been primarily active on merger filings and integrity due diligence reports, of late. Since publication, the firm has announced its association with major Argentine corporate firm Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen to become PAGBAM Schwencke Chile.
WPP – Kantar
- Advising companies in the domestic electronics and retail sectors (among others), on competition authority investigations regarding alleged collusion; and carrying out associated internal investigations.
- Advised a major Chlean construction company on possible cooperation structures and partnerships with competitors so as to participate in public tenders.