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CADE expresses support to the ICN document on competition during the COVID-19 pandemic

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A declaration by the international network presents considerations on the enforcement of competition law during and after the coronavirus crisis
published: Apr 28, 2020 12:00 AM last modified: May 07, 2020 09:50 PM
by International Unit

On Tuesday, 14 April, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) expressed its support to the International Competition Network (ICN) document ICN Steering Group Statement: Competition during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic. The statement acknowledges the unprecedented challenges faced by antitrust authorities throughout the world and presents considerations on competition law enforcement during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the document, the pandemic has raised concerns that some companies might engage in anti-competitive conduct. Thus, the ICN stresses the need for ensuring products and services remain available at competitive prices, particularly those considered necessary in urgent public health situations such as the current one, as, for example, medical equipment and supplies. Therefore, competition authorities must remain vigilant against anti-competitive practices during this crisis.

However, considering the exceptional situation the world is facing, the ICN considers competitors might need to co-operate temporarily to ensure the supply and distribution of scarce products and services used to protect the health and safety of all consumers. In the document, the international group emphasizes that "such joint efforts, if limited in scope and duration necessary to assist those affected by COVID-19, and in line with applicable laws or specific guidance from authorities, may be a necessary response to protect consumers and provide products or services that might not be available otherwise."

Moreover, the ICN stresses the importance of the role of advocacy played by antitrust agencies in explaining to the public the benefits of competition and advising governments on competitive implications and effects of such economic measures. According to the document, such expert advice on political and legislative measures may be crucial in the coming months to ensure a healthy competition environment.

Finally, the ICN is willing to collect and exchange ideas, experiences, and best practices with competition authorities to foster co-operation and interaction within the global antitrust community regarding possible responses to the crisis.

About the ICN

The ICN functions as an independent, specialized network for competition defense. Founded in 2001, the forum has no permanent physical headquarters and its members work together, divided in working groups, through the internet, by means of teleconferences, seminars, and workshops.

Currently, the network brings together over a hundred competition authorities, with the purpose of promoting global convergence for antitrust practices and rules.

Check below the ICN statement in both English and Portuguese.

ICN Steering Group Statement: Competition during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

ICN Steering Group statement: competition during and after the COVID pandemic-19