Guidance on pre-notifications of concentrations

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The FNE’s Mergers Division issued the Guidance on Pre-Notifications of Concentrations of May 2021 (Guidance) aiming at improving merger control. From a competition policy perspective, it seemed efficient to focus the agency’s resources in the substantive scrutiny of the transaction, and to avoid as much as posible merging parties procedural errors. The Guidance is therefore meant to assist merging parties to perform a complete notification, avoiding unnecessary delays with transaction costs for both merging parties and FNE. Through the Guidance, the FNE aims to establish a voluntary, informal, cooperative and confidential stage, pursuant to the Chilean antitrust law (Title IV, DL 211), with the purpose to resolve any specific questions or doubts, substantial and/or procedural, that may be constructively addressed between the FNE and the merging parties before any formal filing. Through pre-notification, the FNE ultimately seeks to establish a stage that will enable the merger control system in our country to be as expedient and effective as posible, seeking to set out procedural guidelines for the parties (how to participate during this stage and what they can expect from it). As a novelty, the Guidance grants the parties the right to obtain formal reponses to their requests (the FNE self-imposed response-deadlines) and also, the right to request a formal ruling in cases the parties are unclear whether their transaction could or not be legally qualified as a merger, from an antitrust standpoint.