Private vs public antitrust enforcement: evidence from Chile
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This article measures the impact of the agency responsible for enforcing competition law, in the outcome of antitrust trials in Chile. Using statistics on lawsuits since the inception of the new Competition Tribunal in 2004, we find that the involvement of the public agency increases the probability of obtaining a guilty verdict in an antitrust lawsuit by 40 percentage points. Conditional to the issuance of a verdict, the participation of the prosecutor raises the likelihood of a conviction by 38 percentage points. The results are robust to possible selection bias by the public agency. The prosecutor is inclined to takes part in cases involving sensitive markets and in accusations of collusion. The State-related character of the accused entity, in addition to its size, does not affect the probability of intervention by the prosecutor in a lawsuit.