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New policies expected from Secretariat of Economic Law - International Law Office

International Law Office

Competition & Antitrust - Brazil

New policies expected from Secretariat of Economic Law

April 07 2011

On March 28 2011 Vinicius Marques de Carvalho was nominated as the new head of the Secretariat of Economic Law (SDE). Carvalho is one of seven commissioners for the Administrative Counsel for Economic Defence (CADE) and his nomination has received a welcome response. It is hoped that his appointment will bring better communication between the SDE and CADE.

A close relationship between the SDE and CADE is more relevant now that Bill 6/09 has been approved by the Senate and is before the House of Representatives. One of the bill's most important proposals is the creation of the CADE General Bureau, which will assume most of the functions of the SDE and the Secretariat for Economic Monitoring.

According to the bill, the CADE General Bureau will be structured into two bodies that will cooperate closely: the Administrative Tribunal of Economic Defence, which will basically have the same functions as CADE has today, and the Directorate General, which will be in charge of conducting anti-competitive investigations and reviewing merger cases. The head and staff of the SDE will be transferred to the Directorate General.

It is vital for the enforcement of the new law that when the CADE General Bureau begins to operate, CADE and the SDE have a close understanding on antitrust policies.

In a meeting held by the Brazilian Competition Institute in February 2011, Carvalho highlighted a number of policies that he intends to implement at the SDE:

  • Cartel investigations will continue, but the SDE will take a closer look at cases involving vertical restraints of competition;
  • The SDE will encourage its staff to remain at the antitrust agency and not to see the SDE as a step towards starting or enhancing a private-sector career; and
  • The SDE will be rigorous in its analysis of the information presented in merger control cases since, under the new statute, the Directorate General will have 120 days to review filings after receipt.

Carvalho's points of view were well received by the members of the Competition Institute.

The new legislation and policies will consolidate the advanced position that the Brazilian antitrust system holds among other jurisdictions in the Americas. In this context, Carvalho faces a huge task at his new office, but he has already set consistent guidelines to enable him to deliver results.

For further information on this topic please contact Pedro Dutra or Patricia de Campos Dutra at Pedro Dutra Advogados by telephone (+55 11 3085 9033), fax (+55 11 3064 7487) or email (pdutra@pedrodutra.com.br or pcamposdutra@pedrodutra.com.br).

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