December 11, 2019
Official Information

Government announces agenda of anti-abuse measures

Government announces agenda of anti-abuse measures
Establishing prison sentences for collusion in the marketing of basic necessities such as food and medicines.

Penalties and fines will also increase for tax offenses, the use of insider information and the publication of false information.  

President Sebastián Piñera announced an agenda of measures to foster dignified and fair treatment of citizens by strengthening the combat of market collusion and abuses and tightening consumer and worker protection.

President Piñera indicated that penalties with prison sentences will be increased, implying that time is actually served, for cases of collusion involving basic necessities such as medicines and food.

Criminal penalties and fines for tax offenses, the use of insider information and the publication of false information will also be increased to prevent abuse and ensure equal access to information and opportunities in financial markets.

As part of the measures, companies that are suppliers to the state will have to disclose the identity of the natural persons by whom they are owned in order to increase transparency and detect and combat abuses, conflicts of interest and excessive concentration in the provision of goods and services to the state.

“In this way, as also in the case of violent crimes, we are increasing sanctions for so-called white-collar crimes,” said the president in an address to the nation.

The agenda also includes better protection of consumer rights, putting an end to small print in contracts through a Digital Platform managed by the National Consumer Service (SERNAC). This will allow consumers to terminate contracts they no longer want with the same ease with which they entered into them.

The Anti-Abuse and Dignified and Fair Treatment Agenda has three main pillars:

FIRST: INTENSIFY COMBAT OF MARKET COLLUSION AND ABUSES, TAX OFFENSES AND THE USE OF INSIDER INFORMATION

 Strengthen competition and intensify combat of collusion and abuses through the following measures: 

1. Strengthen the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office, a public body responsible for ensuring free competition, equipping it with new tools to prevent, investigate and denounce cartels and anti-competitive practices; the new tools will include the lifting of bank secrecy and the protection of physical or digital evidence of anti-competitive conduct.

2. Increase criminal penalties, implying the serving of time, for collusion involving basic necessities such as medicines and food.

3. Increase criminal penalties and fines for tax offenses, the use of insider information and the publication of false information in financial markets.

4. Oblige suppliers to the state to disclose the identity of the natural persons by whom they are owned in order to increase transparency and detect and combat abuses, conflicts of interest and excessive concentration in the provision of goods and services to the state, to the benefit of all Chileans.

5. Create the figure of anonymous whistleblower so that any citizen, anonymously or with protection of identity, can report acts of collusion or crimes in the public or private sector.

 In this way, as also in the case of violent crimes, we will increase sanctions for so-called white-collar crimes. 

SECOND: BETTER PROTECTION OF CONSUMER RIGHTS

In order to provide consumers with access to better-quality goods and services at lower prices, we are implementing a powerful Pro-Consumer Agenda that includes:

1. Put an end to small print in contracts through a Digital Platform managed by the National Consumer Service (SERNAC), which will allow consumers to terminate contracts they no longer want with the same ease with which they entered into them.

2. Establish an Online Consultation System through which all citizens can find out about the insurance policies they hold and cancel those they do not recognize or do not want. In addition, the obligation to tender insurance tied to other products will be extended so as to reduce its cost to users.

3. Establish the terms and conditions of e-commerce in a simple and transparent manner and prohibit all abuse and the charging of commissions that do not correspond to services actually provided.

4. Increase transparency in the sale of school textbooks so that parents have all the options and all the information required to enable them to acquire the most economical books for their children.

5. Eliminate unnecessary notarial procedures, establish the operations and procedures that must be provided digitally to facilitate citizens’ lives and reduce the charges of Real Estate Registration Offices.

6. Establish financial portability so that those with credit card or consumer credit debts and mortgages can choose the financial institution that offers them the best conditions, interest rate  and commissions, thereby avoiding abuse as captive clients. 

THIRD: BETTER PROTECTION OF WORKERS’ RIGHTS

 In order to better protect workers’ rights, particularly during these difficult times, we will soon announce an agenda that includes a far-reaching modernization of the Directorate of Labor. It will include the incorporation of digital technology to facilitate relations between workers, employers and the Directorate of Labor and will promote voluntary mediation between workers and employers by the Directorate of Labor to facilitate agreements and find solutions.