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Cade concludes agreements in cartel investigation in the market for orange acquisitions

TCCs

The agreements allowed the reopening of a proceeding initiated in 1999 and resulted in pecuniary contributions of more than BRL 300 million
by Assessoria de Comunicação Social published: Nov 25, 2016 04:16 PM last modified: Nov 25, 2016 04:16 PM

 

The Tribunal of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense – CADE approved, on 23 November 2016, seven Cease and Desist Agreements (TCC for their acronym in Portuguese) in a cartel investigation of companies’ processors of frozen concentrated orange juice (Administrative Proceedings Nº 08012.008372/1999-14, Nº 08012.001255/2006-66 and Nº 08012.010505/2007-30).

The agreements were signed with the companies Cutrale, Citrovita, Coinbra, Fischer, Cargill, Bascitrus and the sector association, Abecitrus, and nine individuals. The signatories will have to pay BRL 301 million which will be collected to the Fund for the Defense of Diffuse Rights (FDD in its acronym in Portuguese). The amount collected is the highest value ever paid in a case involving settlements at CADE.

Through the agreements, negotiated by CADE’s General Superintendence, the parties acknowledged their participation in the conduct, made the commitment to cease any anticompetitive practice and collaborate for the enlightenment of the investigated case, in accordance with CADE’s policy of settlements in investigations of anticompetitive conducts.

The investigation was initiated in 1999 – the oldest ongoing investigation at CADE – and has been a target of judicial enquiries for several times, from entities which pleaded to cancel preventive measures of search and seizure warranties occurred in 2006.  The most recent suspension of the administrative proceeding occurred in 2015. After the final allegations produced by CADE’s General Superintendence in order to issue its opinion about the case, the Superior Court of Justice (STJ in its acronym in Portuguese) suspended the case’s proceedings at CADE. The signature of the agreement allowed the companies to waive the pending lawsuits, making possible to unlock the proceeding.

The TCCs proposed by the General Superintendence to the main companies in the investigation’s passive pole, will also contribute to a faster conclusion of the administrative proceeding. After the withdraw of the lawsuits filed by the parties, the General Superintendence’s will issue its final opinion and subsequently the case will be judged by CADE’s Tribunal. Regarding to the TCC’s signatories, the administrative proceeding against them will be suspended and, under the condition of fulfilling of the obligations provided in the agreement, the case will be archived in the final judgment.

Access the public proceedings about the case:

Administrative Proceeding Nº 08700.000729/2016-76

Administrative Proceeding Nº 08700.000738/2016-67 

Administrative Proceeding N° 08700.000739/2016-10