Unilateral conduct probes to get boost in Brazil; digital economy a priority, CADE official says

12 April 2018 9:25am

11 April 2018. By Flavia Fortes.

The Brazilian competition authority is boosting its investigations into unilateral conduct by assigning one official in each division at the agency to focus on companies’ abuse of dominance, the agency's top investigator said.

Alexandre Macedo, superintendent at the Administrative Council for Economic Defense, or CADE, said at a conference* in Washington on Wednesday that the goal is to increase the agency's efforts on unilateral conduct cases without dropping its efficiency in merger analysis.

Traditionally, officials investigating monopolistic conduct need to pause their investigations to give priority to incoming merger reviews, which have a deadline to be completed. 

“We’re assigning more people to analyze unilateral conduct … but the challenge is not to increase the time to review mergers,” Macedo said.

CADE has eight divisions, five in charge of merger investigations and three responsible for cartel investigations. Macedo said that the plan is to make one official in each division responsible for unilateral conduct investigations.

— Digital economy —

The digital economy, which still has many uncertainties, will also be a priority for the regulator, Macedo said.

“We are studying this, we have a lot of cases in Brazil right now,” he said mentioning the four Google cases that are still pending.

“But we have no idea of what to do. Nobody does. Nobody can understand where the market is going, how much you have to intervene [in this sector],” he said. “This is a complete revolution in the mainstream antitrust analysis.”

“Digital economy right now is our nightmare,” Macedo said.

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