CADE’s General Superintendence investigates two alleged cartels in the national market of pipes and fittings
The General Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense – CADE has opened on Monday, May 9th, two administrative proceedings to investigate alleged cartel offenses in the national market of pipes and fittings. This material is applied in the construction sector to enable the installation of pipelines, fiber optic cables and pipes in general.
The first administrative proceeding (PA No 08700.003390/2016-60) investigates an alleged cartel in the domestic market of PVC pipes and fittings. There are evidences that the cartel affected at least two types of clients. First, the conduct affected public bids launched by public companies in the sewerage and water infrastructure sector. Second, the conduct affected private companies operating with civil construction and installation services.
The investigations reached the following companies: Amanco Brasil Ltda., Asperbras Tubos e Conexões Ltda., Bianchini Indústria de Plásticos Ltda, Cardinali Tubos e Conexões S.A., Corr Plastik Industrial Ltda., Hidroplast Indústria e Comércio Ltda., Krona Tubos e Conexões S/A, Mizu Comércio de Materiais Hidráulicos Ltda., Nicoll Indústria Plástica Ltda., Plásticos Vipal S/A, Plastilit Comercial de Plásticos Ltda. – ME, Tigre S/A Tubos e Conexões and Tubozan Comércio e Representação Ltda., in addition to 29 individuals related to these companies.
The second administrative proceeding (PA No 08700.003396/2016-37) investigates an alleged cartel in the national market of PEAD pipes and fittings. There are evidences that the cartel affected private bids launched by concessionary companies operating infrastructure in the gas sector.
The companies under investigation are: Brastubo Indústria e Comércio Ltda., FGS Brasil Indústria e Comércio Ltda., Polierg Indústria e Comércio Ltda., Poly Easy do Brasil Indústria e Comércio Ltda. e Tigre S/A Tubos e Conexões, in addition to 17 individuals related to these companies.
In both cases, the General Superintendence’s preliminary note contains evidences of price-fixing agreements and client division orchestrated during meetings and telephone calls between management-level employees of these companies, with the authorization of board members. In addition, there were possibly e-mail exchanges to discuss specific bids, with the exchange of worksheets to implement price-fixing and/or client or bid parts division.
With the opening of the administrative proceedings, the investigated parties will be notified to present their defenses. At the end of the discovery phase, the General Superintendence will issue a final note to either condemn or close the case, and will refer the case to be decided by CADE’s Tribunal, which is responsible for reaching the final decision.