A study by CADE assesses the benefits of the agency's activities for the defence of competition
The Department of Economic Studies (DEE) of the Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE) released on 23 April, a document assessing the expected benefits of actions taken by the agency in 2018 (called Mensuração dos benefícios esperados da atuação do CADE em 2018). This initiative is part of a trend among antitrust authorities around the world of estimating the expected benefits of their actions and policies on competition defence.
DEE's analysis followed a methodology proposed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) intended to assess the expected impact of policies based on how much consumers would have spent if the measures had not been applied. The study concluded that CADE's activities related to cartels, unilateral conduct, and mergers tried in 2018 lead to savings of about BRL 20.5 billion. This amount makes up approximately 0.3% of the Brazilian GDP that year.
After applying the OECD's methodology, the Department of Economic Studies found that CADE's actions related to anticompetitive practises resulted in benefits of about BRL 16.6 billion. It is worth mentioning that, of this amount, around BRL 13.3 billion are linked only to cartel cases analysed in 2018, which were mostly connected to Operation Car Wash.
As for mergers, the study estimates benefits of about BRL 3.8 billion. This figure refers mainly to expected price increases prevented by the agency via restrictions imposed and blocked merger operations.
Finally, the document points out these benefits may have been underestimated. “It is worth mentioning that the savings estimated can be regarded as conservative, as not all activities carried out by the agency were considered, such as trials of practices related to unions, dynamic effects of CADE's decisions, and dissuasive effects”.