Yesterday, 14 June, the Competition Tribunal ruled unanimously against Whirlpool S.A. and Tecumseh Do Brasil Ltda., brought before Court by the FNE for engaging in a collusive agreement. The aforementioned companies are the prime providers of low power, hermetic compressors for the manufacturing of refrigerators.
Both companies participated in an international cartel that goes back to 2004 and was terminated in 2008. Both companies have admitted and have been fined by other competition authorities -USA, EU, Canada and New Zealand- for participating in a collusive agreement. Chile is the first country where the case has been trialed and sentenced by a court.
This is the first case that made use of the leniency program for the detection of a cartel and constitutes a milestone in the history of cartel persecution in Chile. Tecumseh do Brasil Ltda. is the first company that met the legal requirement to be exempted from any fines.
The Competition Tribunal sentenced Whirlpool to a fine of UTA 10,500 (approximately US$ 10 million) in addition to covering the legal expenses.
Tecumseh do Brasil Ltda., due to their collaboration with the FNE, was exempted from fine, as considered in art 39 bis of the Competition Act.
The leniency program is the most efficient instrument for detection and deterrence of cartels in the world. This program provides incentives for a member of a cartel to break the collusive agreement in exchange for exemption or reduction of fine. The leniency program was introduced in our legal system by the Law No 20.361 and entered into effect in October of 2009.
The FNE will continue to call for the rigorous application of the law for any acts against free competition; especially in markets that are sensible for most of the population.
To review the FNE Complaint, click here
To review the TDLC Sentence click here
For more information contact:
Kareen Calcagno, Press Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Salamanca, Head of Institutional Relations Department: email@example.com