The Competition Tribunal ruled in favor of the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office, in a lawsuit against Asociación Gremial de Buses Interbus, sentencing the latter to a fine of 60 Annual Tributary Units (around US$ 46,000), for having engaged in collusive practices with the object and effect of excluding a competitor from the relevant market.
In its ruling, the Tribunal determined that, via the Asociación Gremial de Buses Interbus (a union of interurban buses), a group of interurban transport operators ceased acting independently in the relevant market, and gave the union the power to allocate market shares, and to decide who competed and how they competed, with the specific objective of displacing and excluding a new competitor, Buses Cordillera.
On a related note, the Tribunal pointed out that this union, by acting in the aforementioned fashion, substituted the natural competition conditions that would have occurred if its partners had acted independently, and established coordination and monitoring mechanisms that distorted competition.
The Tribunal was also able to determine that Asociación Gremial de Buses Interbus, as articulating entity of the collusive agreement between its partners, engaged in several exclusionary practices and harassment actions, in detriment of Buses Costa Cordillera.
Because of this, apart from the aforementioned fine, the Tribunal ordered Asociación Gremial de Buses Interbus to cease any and every illicit action or conduct with the objective or effect of excluding competitors who operate in the route Talca – Baños el Médano, or with the objective or effect of preventing the entrance of new competitors to that route. Also, the Tribunal ordered it to refrain from said actions in the future, in that route as well as in any other route in which the union’s associates offer transportation services.