The Competition Tribunal accepted partially the lawsuit by the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office against Asociación Chilena de Agencias de Publicidad (ACHAP), its Executive President, seven of its directors and eleven of its associate advertising agencies, for having incurred in infractions to competition law, by a collective boycott against tender processes issued in 2008 by Metro S.A. and Transbank S.A., for hiring an advertising agency.
The decision established that, after a decision of ACHAP’s board, communicated and executed by its Executive President, ACHAP suggested Metro and Transbank to narrow the number of summoned agencies to their respective tender processes, recommending to select only three agencies, via credentials, to compete for their accounts.
Nevertheless, given the refusal of these advertisers to modify their processes to ACHAP’s terms, agencies were called to not participate in Metro’s tender process, and in both cases the defendants agreed to limit the number of participants to five -without consent from Metro and Transbank-, selecting them by means of sweepstakes that took place in ACHAP’s headquarters.
Given the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office timely intervention in this case, ACHAP agreed to withdraw its recommendation to advertisers before the deadlines to present proposals were met, and both tender processes ended up being successful.
The Tribunal fined ACHAP with 50 Annual Tax Units (approximately US$48,000), José Manuel Silva (ACHAP’s Executive President) with 10 Annual Tax Units (approximately US$9,600), each director involved with 7.5 Annual Tax Units (approximately US$ 7,200) and each participating agency with 5 Annual Tax Units (approximately US$ 4,800).