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Brazil: CADE recommends action vs Volkswagen, Fiat and Ford over competition barriers

 |  June 28, 2016

Brazilian antitrust authorities have released an Official Recommendation, asking for investigations to begin on international carmakers Volkswagen do Brasil, Industria de Veículos Automotivos Ltda, Fiat and the Ford Motor Company Brasil, over alleged violations of fair competition laws in the replacement auto parts market.

The carmakers enjoy strong property rights over the design and supply of replacement parts for their vehicles, which have normally been filed under the country’s Industrial Property laws. However, Brazilian competition authority CADE’s ruling body has said it now considers these restrictions to be an unfair barrier, blocking independent manufacturers from designing and selling their own replacement parts, which could be considered an abuse of intellectual property for anti-competitive ends.

In CADE’s opinion, the carmakers’ actions may have excluded thousands of independent manufacturers, effectively giving each company a monopoly on available replacements. this situation could have led to unnecessarily high prices for consumers, as fewer choices are made available for replacing parts such as wing-mirrors, bumpers or headlights. Should the investigation uncover any wrongdoing the companies are subject to fines or other corrective measures.

Full Content: CADE

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