Our first approach to economic regulation occurred quite early in the history of the firm, when we got involved in the interconnection of telecommunications companies, as well as the conflicts and tariff procedures arising thereof. From that moment, we understood that economic regulation was a unique and autonomous area of practice, in which there is a convergence between economic, public policy, public law, and antitrust law reasons.
During the last thirty years, Chile has experienced a radical transformation in terms of economic policy. An important part of the public services and utilities were privatized, financial markets have progressively become globalized, and the expansion of public infrastructure rests more and more on public-private partnerships. Its is clear that regulation plays a critical role in our economic life, drawing the boundaries in which public and private agents interact together in order to secure that markets are adequately functioning.
The theory of economic regulation states that certain industries are characterized by networks of infrastructure, which leads to the concentration of market power in the hands of a few agents. This opens the gate for tariff regulation, public-private partnerships and similar mechanisms. Likewise, in markets with intense information asymmetries it is usual to regulate the solvency of the participants, their internal mechanisms of organization, or their market behavior.
The relationship between economic regulation and administrative law is deep. The tools with which regulation directs the market are the tools of administrative law. Indeed, it is through tariff decrees, technical regulations, public procurement and administrative procedures, that law translates the economic logic underlying normative regulatory choices. At the same time, such choices need to be made at a constantly increasing pace and on the basis of increasingly technical information, since regulation needs to follow the evolution of markets.
Our Economic Regulation Practice follows the traditional distinction between public service regulation, financial regulation, and public-private partnerships, in order to approach the complex realities of this body of the Law. Regulation grows and covers almost everything. Thus this practice area becomes a focus for the interaction of particularly diverse markets, industries, and expertise.
Markets: Telecoms, Energy, Water supply, Transport, Ports, Public Infrastructure, Banking, Insurance, Financial Intermediation, Corporate Governance, Consumers, Environment.