Baker McKenzie's Chilean Competition team led by Rodrigo Diaz de Valdes has successfully represented Isapre Consalud, one of the largest private healthcare insurance companies in the country, before the Supreme Court on an Antitrust ruling that has ended a postal monopoly lasting nearly a century. This is one of the most impactful Chilean Antitrust cases in the last years.
The Supreme Court Ruling, handed down on 24 October comes, after nearly two years of debate. The case began in 2015 when the Superintendence of Health, a state agency that oversees healthcare providers issued a regulation prohibiting these providers to contract with private postal companies when sending registered mail to clients by legal mandate. The Superintendence argued that this regulation was in compliance with the monopoly granted by law to Correos de Chile (a state-owned postal corporation) in 1960.
Isapre Consalud, along with WSP Postal, a private postal company, challenged this regulation before the Chilean Antitrust Court arguing that the monopoly granted to Correos de Chile should be interpreted along with the principles set forth in the Constitution and Chilean Antitrust Act.
After being dismissed by the Antitrust Court of Chile, the case was put before the Supreme Court. After a year of analysis, the Supreme Court sided with the argument put forth by Baker McKenzie on behalf of Isapre Consalud and ordered the Superintendence to withdraw its regulation. The Supreme Court stated that the regulations that empowered Correos de Chile to send registered mail did not preclude other private companies from participating in the same activity in the spirit of a free and competitive market.
This ruling has wide-spread effect across the country and ushers in a new era for postal services reconciling state activity with Antitrust principles. Commenting on the case, Rodrigo Diaz de Valdes stated "we are very happy to have been part of this landmark case and to have successfully made the argument to the supreme court of Chile that Antitrust law must be considered when looking at the activities of both private and state-owned businesses."