Chile awaits the imminent passing of a bill under which a new merger control regime will be established. The proposals, which introduce a mandatory notification procedure (replacing the current voluntary system), are expected to come into force in 2016. The proposals also include:
- an obligation to suspend closing prior to clearance
- a two-phase review period of 30 business days (for initial review) and 90 business days (where in-depth review is required)
- fines for failure to notify / unauthorized completion of approximately US$ 15,000 per day.
Turnover thresholds triggering a filing obligation are yet to be determined.
Rodrigo Díaz de Valdés, head of Baker & McKenzie's competition practice in Chile, says, "The changes bring the Chilean regime in line with other developed merger control regulations (including the US and the EU). Fixed thresholds and deadlines will give parties a clear indication as to when filing is necessary and appropriate, whilst setting expectations for the procedural timeline. It is crucial however that filing thresholds are set at a reasonable level to avoid imposing onerous requirements on transactions which present no threat to competition."