Recent Improvements To Brazil's Antitrust Enforcement Mechanisms
Rodney A. Alves and Patrick Del Duca
Latin American Legal Developments Newsletter
American Bar Association Section of International Law
On August 20, 2007, Brazil’s Official Bulletin announced a two-year cooperation agreement made between Brazil's independent antitrust commission (Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica - CADE) and the Ministry of Justice's Secretariat of Economic (Secretaria de Direito Econômico - SDE). CADE and SDE, together with the Ministry of Finance's Secretariat for Economic Monitoring (Secretaria de Acompanhamento Econômico – SEAE), constitute the Brazilian System for Defense of Competition (Sistema Brasileiro de Defesa da Concorrência - SBDC). The roles of CADE, SDE and SEAE are, respectively, administrative adjudication of antitrust cases, investigation, and economic analysis.
Under the cooperation agreement, SDE will defer to CADE's Attorney-General Office, verification of satisfaction of the requirements for the fast track procedure to confirm that a transaction does not raise competition concerns. This change is intended to allow SDE to focus on analyzing complex cases, thus reducing costs and time delays heretofore associated with multiple agency reviews. The agreement further provides that when SDE's opinion on a less complex case subject to the fast track procedure matches SEAE's opinion, SDE may simply declare its concurrence with SEAE's opinion without issuing its own in-depth report.
Further reforms appear likely to be forthcoming. Brazil’s Congress is considering legislation to reform Brazil’s Antitrust Law, in continuation of debates started years ago during the term of former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Political observers believe that the renewed debate may result in legislation in the near future to further enhance the relevant agencies’ capacity to undertake sophisticated economic analysis.
Contributors: Rodney Almeida Alves, ManattJones Global Strategies, Los Angeles, CA; Juliana Martines, Felsberg e Associados Law Firm, São Paulo, Brazil; and Patrick Del Duca, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Los Angeles, CA.
As published in the ABA International Latin America & Caribbean Committee's Latin American Legal Developments Newsletter. For more information about ABA International, please visit the Section website at www.abanet.org/intlaw.
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