CADE’s General Superintendence investigates national cartel of hydrometers
The General Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense – CADE opened, on 26 October 2015, an administrative proceeding to investigate alleged practice of cartel on the hydrometers national market (Administrative Proceeding nº 08700.009165/2015-56). The investigated companies are Elster, FAE, Itron, LAO, Sappel and Sensus.
The hydrometers affected by the conduct are the residential ones with low capacity, designed to the measurement of water used by small consumers and families, sold for sanitation public companies from states and municipalities.
The evidence suggests that the companies agreed and/or discussed on the prices to be fixed and shared the market and clients, establishing participation goals and quantities for each colluded party.
Furthermore, there is evidence that the companies exchanged information competitively sensitive about clients and the market and agreed on prices, conditions, advantages or abstention on public tenders. These anticompetitive conducts would have happened between 2010 and 2012, at least.
With the opening of the administrative proceeding, the defendants will be notified to present their defenses. At the end of the information gathering, the General-Superintendence will submit an Opinion on the conviction or the filing of the case, and will send it to CADE’s Administrative Tribunal, responsible for the final decision.
In case of conviction, the companies may have to pay fees up to 20% of their respective gross incomes on the market of the wrongdoing.