Cade condemns cartel of bread in Federal District (DF)
The Administrative Council for Economic Defense - Cade condemned on Wednesday (22/5), 18 bakeries and 19 individuals for cartel formation in the bakery market in the city of Sobradinho, Federal District. In total, the fines amount to approximately BRL 650 thousand.
Among the convicts are the president and the vice-president of the Brasilia Food Industry Association – SIAB at the time of the incident, both accused of organizing the stunt.
The process (Administrative Proceeding No. 08012.004039/2001-68) was established by the former Secretariat of Economic Law - SDE in 2001, from a letter sent by the Consumer Civil Police of the Federal District. The paper reported on the arrest of owners of bakeries in Sobradinho, during a meeting sponsored by SIAB at a local restaurant.
The Police seized the meeting invitation sent by the union to bakeries, and a document that expressly informed that the meeting was to discuss, among other things, the price of bread.
Posters distributed by SIAB and posted on several bakeries in the city were also seized; they advertised the adjustment of the value of the product in about BRL 0.20. The investigation began after a complaint to the Police by a bakery owner who reported that he was being threatened by other bakery owners for selling bread at a lower price than the competitors.
The set of evidence of anticompetitive practice also holds many interviews of bakers in the area held by both the Police and SDE.
According to the reporting commissioner of the case, Ana de Oliveira Frazão, although participants claim that the intent of the meeting was only to organize a debate on the best way to calculate the final price of the product, the cartel conduct was proven.
"The evidence indicates that the dealings between competitors on prices and that occurred in the meeting promoted by SIAB are not an isolated event, but a step into a broader and more organized chain of acts aimed at artificial alignment of business practices," she said.
For the conduct, each bakery was sentenced to pay a fine in the amount of more than BRL 30 thousand. The owners must pay more than BRL 3 thousand each, equivalent to 10% of the fine imposed by the companies. The amount of the penalty awarded to two representatives of the SIAB sum just over BRL 20 thousand.