Superintendence suggests the condemnation of cartel on the market of calibration of precision instruments
The General Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) recommended, on an opinion published on this Thursday, the condemnation of ISO-Metro Comercial Ltda., Metrologia 9000 Ltda. and Precision Instrumentação e Comércio Ltda. and of four representatives of those companies for cartel formation on the market of calibration and maintenance of measurement tools on the region of São José dos Campos, city in the state of São Paulo.
Calibration is a set of operations used to establish a comparison between values indicated by a measuring instrument and the values of pre-established standards. The service is important to ensure the reliability of a measurement tool - thermometer, pressure gauge and speedometer, for example - being used by various economic sectors such as electronics industry, clinical laboratories, hospitals and in the area of job security. The maintenance service can be preventive or corrective and includes the exchange and cleaning of parts of measuring instruments.
Among the evidences collected by the General Superintendence there is the recording of a meeting in which companies explain to a potential competitor in the market the existence of a "gentleman's agreement" whereby they divided the market and customers. In addition, there was the prediction that companies do proposals coverage in private bids – when there is agreement that one of the companies will offer superior prices to intentionally not win the competition - conducted by customers of such services, as well as retaliation to agents that do not come integrate such agreement.
The case (Administrative Proceeding nº 08012.007356/2010-27) now follows to trial before CADE’s Tribunal. If convicted, the companies may pay a fine of 0,1% to 20% of its earnings, in addition to other possible penalties for those involved in the cartel.