The Competition Tribunal accepted partially the lawsuits by the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office and Comercial Canadá Chemicals S.A. against Compañía Chilena de Fósforos S.A., and sentenced the latter to pay a fine of 1,200 Annual Tributary Units (about US$ 1.02 million).
In its decision, the Tribunal determined that Compañía Chilena de Fósforos established artificial barriers to entry of new competitors. These barriers consisted of (i) imposing exclusivity clauses in distribution contracts, (ii) establishing incentive systems –via accomplishment of sales goals–, designed to maintain the aforementioned exclusivity; and (iii) establishing other incentive systems via accomplishment of sales goals, not tied to the exclusivity clauses, but with exclusionary purposes. These incentive systems were not based on general, uniform and objective parameters, and no efficiency or scale economies to justify them were found.
On the other hand, the Tribunal dismissed the accusations of the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office and Comercial Canadá Chemicals, in the section where they seeked sanctions for Compañía Chilena de Fósforos, for alleged intimidation practices towards Comercial Canadá Chemicals’s Provider, and for an alleged abusive exercise of judiciary actions.
Based on the merits of the case, apart from the aforementioned fine, the Competition Tribunal ordered Compañía Chilena de Fósforos to refrain from celebrating contracts or agreements that include discriminatory terms or conditions regarding the characteristics of whoever buys or distributes their products, unless those terms and conditions are based on general, uniform and objective circumstances, or base on justifiable cost arguments. These conditions must be made available to every firm in similar conditions.