The Competition Tribunal dismissed a lawsuit by Mr. Sergio Maldonado Muñoz against Texaco Chile S.A.C., given that the plaintiff did not prove that Texaco Chile had engaged in actions against the Decree Law 211. The plaintiff had to pay Tribunal costs.
In its ruling, the Tribunal stated that there is no evidence to establish that Texaco Chile exerted any pressure, in order to impose abusive clauses in two contracts celebrated by the plaintiff and the defendant in November 1996. On the contrary, the facts indicate that the parties agreed on the contract conditions as equals. It is a public and notorious fact that Texaco Chile did not have a dominant position in the gasoline distribution market at the time the contracts were signed. Therefore, eventually other companies might have been interested in operating a gasoline station in the plaintiff’s property, given its privileged location.
Regarding an alleged abuse in the execution of the contracts by Texaco Chile, the Tribunal stated that, even if said contractual abuses had existed, they would not configure a threat to free competition, unless other facts concurred, that would have allowed the Tribunal to frame the conducts in one or more of the hypotheses of article 3 of Decree Las 211.
The Tribunal partially accepted that the lawsuit exceeded the statute of limitations. This, because the imposition of abusive clauses in contracts can only be executed in the exact moment of celebrating said contracts; in this case, November 6, 1996.