ABB signs settlement agreement with CADE in alleged submarine and underground cables international cartel
Cease and Desist Agreement
The Administrative Council for Economic Defense – CADE signed a Cease and Desist Agreement (TCC, for its acronym in Portuguese) on 18 November 2013 with the Swedish-Swiss multinational ABB Ltd and an individual. In the agreement, the parties compromised to cease the practices under investigation in the alleged international cartel that affected the markets of manufacturing and installation of underground high-voltage cables and submarine high and low-voltage cables (Administrative Proceedings nº 08012.003970/2010-10 and 08700.008576/2012-81).
The agreement signature was conditioned to the confession of participation on the collusion by the signatories. The company and the individual must also collaborate with CADE’s ongoing investigation. This is the first settlement in a cartel investigation since the new regulation on the subject came into force, at the beginning of this year. The new directive of the TCC negotiation program in cartel investigations states that the parties must recognize their participation in the conduct and contribute in obtaining evidences in exchange of a reduction on the monetary contribution, which value is collected to the Ministry of Justice’s Brazilian Diffuse Rights Fund (FDD for its acronym in Portuguese)
By the agreement, ABB will contribute with approximately BRL 1,5 million. As for the signatory individual, it was determined the payment of BRL 50.000,00. The negotiation of the agreement was conducted by CADE’s General Superintendence.
In the TCC proposal presented to CADE’s Tribunal approval, Commissioner Ricardo Machado Ruiz highlighted that the parties presented “contributions to the investigations by clarifying facts and offering information on other aspects of the investigated conduct”. According to the Commissioner, the contribution amount was determined based on the size and economic capacity of ABB in the market in which the conduct occurred.
It is estimated that the alleged cartel occurred between the end of 1970’s decade and the year of 2008. The case began to be investigated in 2010, after the signature of the Leniency Agreement.
The cases involve other companies and individuals. They will still be tried by CADE’s Tribunal.