CADE’s General Superintendence recommends condemnation of Copagaz for influencing uniform conduct
The General Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense – CADE recommended, in opinion published on 17 April 2015, the condemnation of Copagaz Distribuidora de Gás S/A for influencing an uniform commercial behavior in the market of distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), known as gas for cooking, in the state of São Paulo (Administrative Proceeding no. 08012.001286/2012-65).
The issued opinion states that the company send to the competitors Supergasbras Energia Ltda (Group SHV), Nacional Gás Butano Distribuidora Ltda., Liquigás Distribuidora S/A, and Companhia Ultragaz S/A extra-judicial notifications, attested by a notary, encouraging the adoption of a minimum price of BRL 24,44 for the distribution of a LPG 13kg container. According to the investigation, the conduct occurred between 2010 and 2012.
To the Superintendence, the conduct of Copagaz is characterized as an invitation to cartelization. This is the second case of an invitation to adopting a concerted practice identified by CADE. In 2010, Siemens VDO Automotive Ltda. was condemned for the same competitive infringement in the market of tachographs.
The administrative proceeding will now be judged by CADE’s Tribunal, responsible for a final decision. If condemned, Copagaz could pay a fine between 0,1% and 20% of its gross revenue in the year before the investigation was opened.