Anti-cartel Enforcement in Brazil: Lessons From the Recent Past and an Exercise to Look Forward

Jose C M Berardo, Barbara Rosenberg, Sep 28, 2011

During the last decade Brazil, as well as few other Latin American countries, have taken great steps to improve the enforcement of their Competition Laws, and cartel prosecution should surely be counted as one of the most relevant improvements so far. Especially in Brazil, the numbers of cartel investigations and convictions have greatly risen, and the Brazilian authorities should be praised, beyond all, for their great work increasing the topic’s public awareness of the seriousness of cartel infringement. Indeed, as the economy starts to blossom, the Government’s efforts to detect and punish cartels should more than pay off in the next years.

However, all these accomplishments do not mean that there is not much yet to be done. Practitioners would not need much time to state a number of problems with cartel enforcement in Brazil, and most-if not all-of these problems are likely to derive from barely staffed authorities, troubled procedural rules, or lack of consistent precedents regarding substantive law,