CADE’s performance in 2018 and expectations for 2019

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) made public its Yearbook with comments on competition defense in Brazil in 2018, presenting an analysis of merger review cases, as well as investigations of anticompetitive conduct in Brazil, among other issues.

Once again, the Brazilian authority was recognized by the specialized media, in particular the Global Competition Review, as the best competition agency in Latin America, and one of the top 10 in the world. In parallel, CADE was the winner in the category “Best Soft Law” of the award promoted by French magazine Concurrences.

In terms of its performance, CADE reviewed 404 transactions in 2018, of which 6 were approved with remedies, 1 was blocked, 9 were declared of non-mandatory submissions, 4 were shelved due to their loss of object, while all other cases were approved unconditionally.

It should be noted that the following sectors were the most recurrent in submissions of merger reviews: Electric Energy, Pesticides, Pharmaceuticals and General Medical Services.

Regarding the reviewing period, on average CADE took 27 days to review merger cases in 2018. More precisely, transactions submitted under the fast-track procedure had an average review of 13 days, while in cases submitted under the ordinary procedure, the reviewing period had an average of 96 days. It is worth mentioning that the procedure to be adopted is defined by a number of legal factors, such as concentration levels resulting from the transaction.

Besides merger review cases, CADE launched 74 investigations of anticompetitive conducts, 35 regarding cartels, 30 related to unilateral conduct and 9 related to uniform competitive conduct, as well as carried out 4 dawn-raids during the same period.

In addition, 60 Settlement Agreements (Cease-and-Desist Agreements, known by the Portuguese acronym “TCC”) were executed in 2018. In total, CADE’s revenues last year reached almost BRL 2 billion, of which more than BRL 627 million resulted from fines for anticompetitive conduct and more than BRL 1.3 billion resulted from the execution of settlement agreements.

Over the last year, CADE has made significant progress in its mission to provide greater legal certainty and transparency to society. To this end, the Agency executed several Cooperation Agreements with State Public Prosecutors’ Offices, with the Brazilian Central Bank, Brazilian National Institute for Industrial/Intellectual Property (INPI), the Brazilian National Oil and Gas Agency (ANP), among other official bodies. At the same time, it has issued Guidelines and Resolutions related to competition matters, such as the Antitrust Remedies Guidelines and the Resolution on procedures for access to documents and information in Administrative Proceedings, including those arising from Leniency Agreements, TCCs and search and seizure measures.

Effective changes are expected at CADE in 2019, in special due to the optimistic tone regarding the Brazilian economy, as well as the wide-ranging changes in the Agency, with the term of office of four of the seven Commissioners expiring in 2019, including the term of the Superintendent-General.

Demarest’s Antitrust and Competition team is available should you require any further information or clarification on this Bulletin.