CADE sanctions three anticompetitive conducts
In the judgment session of 19 February 2014, the Tribunal of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) rendered three condemnations for infractions to the economic order in the markets of cash and values’ transportation, driving schools, and air freight.
The company Proforte S/A Transporte (Administrative Proceeding no. 08012.006272/2011-57) was accused of hampering the competitor’s proper operation in the market for transporting money in the state of Goiás. According to the complaint, the company was contracted by Caixa Econômica Federal to provide the treasury service in the region. Proforte tried to charge the competitor Tecnoguarda, provider of security-services for many lottery agencies in the region, which are banking correspondents of Caixa, a BRL 15 tax to receive each cashbox for storage. The practice aimed at elevating the operational costs of the competitor, hindering Tecnoguard’s performance in the cash and values’ transportation market. The fine’s total amount reaches BRL 2,7 million.
In another case, the Driving Schools Syndicate in the Federal District (Sindauto) and three individuals were condemned for setting a minimum price table for similar services in the city of Gama, Federal District (Administrative Proceeding no. 08012.000415/2003-15). The fines imposed add up to BRL 447,000. The Syndicate was accused of leading to consumers’ income and competition reduction by developing and disclosing price tables aimed at standardizing prices and commercial practices between competitors.
Last, CADE also condemned a big-rigging cartel in the air freight market (Administrative Proceeding no. 08012.010362/2007-66). The companies Skymaster Airlines Ltda., the Brazilian Express Transportes Aéreos Ltda (Beta Cargo), and two individuals were condemned by cartel formation in the public procurement held by the state-owned postal service Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos (ECT). CADE fines Skymaster in BRL 35 million and Beta Cargo in BRL 47 million, a total of around BRL 83 million in imposed fines. The two companies fixed prices and set advantages to hamper free competition in the public procurement promoted by the ECT in 2000 and 2001. One of the main evidences was the signature of an subcontracting agreement to share business acquired from tenders 4 days before the procurement process, in which the companies compromised themselves to share the provision of services in case one of them win. This corporate agreement encouraged the adoption of less competitive behaviors in any procurement held by the ECT to hire air freight services. This was the fourth cartel condemnation by CADE in 2014.