Cade condemns 12 gas stations for cartel in the State of Paraná
Twelve gas stations in the metropolitan area of Londrina, state of Paraná, eight individuals were convicted of cartel in the fuel sale market. On October 23rd, during the trial session, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense - CADE - imposed fines against the companies in the value of approximately BRL 9.3 million. Fine imposed against the individuals as a result of anticompetitive conduct adds up to approximately BRL 1.7 million.
The cartel investigation began in 2007, after a search and seizure in Medusa III was conducted by the state police officials from the Brazilian Antitrust System - SBDC.
The main evidence gathered in the file (Administrative Proceeding no. 08012.011668/2007-30) are the interrogation of those involved in the conduct; signed statements given by persons not indicted that reported the offense; transcripts of judicially authorized telephone intercepts; and economic evidence of price alignment in the metropolitan region of Londrina.
According to the case reporting commissioner, Ana Frazao, the evidence points unequivocally to the existence of the cartel. In her vote, the commissioner indicates that the prices charged to consumers were thoroughly fixed that they covered adjustments that went to the third decimal and the time for values changes.
Moreover, the practice used coercion mechanisms to maintain stability of price adjustments, as well as to seek new members to the policy of the cartel. "It is, therefore, an agreement considerably institutionalized, with no other rationale for its members if not the sole purpose of damaging free competition," concluded the reporting commissioner.
The twelve comdemned companies are: Auto Posto Paiaguás Ltda. (Posto Alvorada); Etiel Comércio de Combustíveis Ltda. (Posto Paizão); Auto Posto Exposição Ltda; Auto Posto Brasília de Londrina Ltda (Posto Meninão); AVN Comércio de Combustíveis Ltda. (Auto Posto Bonanza); Oil Petro Brasileira de Petróleo Ltda.; Mazzarelo & Cia Ltda. (Auto Posto Flamboyant); DGJR Comércio de Combustíveis Ltda. (Posto Versailles II); J Ramalho & Cia Ltda. (Auto Posto Versailles III); Auto Posto 10 de Dezembro Ltda.; Posto Novo Oriente Ltda.; and C.O. Bolognesi & Bolognesi Ltda. (Posto Tropical). Cade also condemned 8 individuals.
Due to the lack of evidence, Cade filed the cases against N. Matiasi & Cia Ltda. (Auto Tour Portelão); AA February Doino & Machado Ltda (formerly AA & February Asbahr Ltda.); Kalahan Trade Fuels Ltda.; and Auto Tour Carajás Ltda.