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Leniency Program

CADE’s Leniency Program is one of CADE’s most important tools for fighting national and multinational cartels. CADE’s first leniency agreement was signed in 2003. Since then, CADE has entered into more than 50 Leniency Agreements with companies and individuals that had engaged in cartel activity.

The Leniency Program allows companies and/or individuals currently involved or that were involved in a cartel offense or other antitrust conspiracy to apply for a Leniency Agreement with CADE by committing to cease the illegal conduct, report and confess the wrongdoing, and cooperate with the investigations by submitting information and documents relevant to the investigation.

In Brazil, the practice of cartel is considered an administrative offense (as defined by article 36, § 3º, I, of Law No. 12.529/2011), as well as a criminal offense (as set out in article 4, II, of Law No. 8.137/1990). If CADE’s General Superintendence does not have prior knowledge of the reported violation, the leniency recipient will be entitled to receive full administrative and criminal immunity. If CADE had already started an administrative proceeding to investigate the reported violation, the applicable penalties can be reduced from one to two thirds.

CADE grants only one leniency agreement per conspiracy, so that companies and individuals are in a race with each other to apply for leniency. Although the administrative and criminal immunity can only be granted to the first-in, other companies and/or individuals interested in collaborating with the investigations may celebrate a Cease and Desist Agreement (TCC in its acronym in Portuguese) with CADE.

TCCs provide companies and/or individuals, depending on when the TCC is proposed and the scope and utility of the collaboration of the proponent in the fact-finding proceeding, with fines reductions varying between 15% to 50%, as set forth in article 85 of the Law No 12.529/2011. Moreover, CADE can assist the proponent before the Public Prosecution Service, in order to facilitate the negotiation of an eventual collaboration agreement (see the Memorandum of Understanding between CADE and the Public Prosecution Service here - available only in Portuguese).

Guidelines - CADE's Antitrust Leniency Program

In November 2015, CADE released for public consultation the draft Guidelines on CADE's Antitrust Leniency Program. The document includes best practices and procedures usually adopted by CADE's General Superintendence when negotiating and signing leniency agreements. In December 2015, an English version of the guide was released to public consultation.

The Guidelines in both Portuguese and English were available for public consultation until 10 February 2016.

The final version of the document in English was released at CADE’s website in 23 June 2016.



Relevant Legislation to the Leniency Program

Models of Leniency Agreement


Administrative Processes resulting from Leniency Agreement finally decided by CADE's Tribunal

Security services companies’ cartel in the state of Rio Grande do Sul – Administrative Proceeding No. 08012.001826/2003-10

Leniency Agreement signed in 10/09/2003. Proceeding decided in 09/21/2007.

International peroxides cartel – Administrative Proceeding No. 08012.004702/2004-77

Leniency Agreement signed in 05/06/2004. Proceeding decided in 05/09/2012. The main case was dismembered into the proceeding No. 08012.007818/2004-68.

International air cargo cartel – Administrative Proceeding No. 08012.011027/2006-02

Leniency Agreement signed in 12/21/2006. Proceeding decided in 08/28/2013. The main case was dismembered into the proceeding No. 08012.000084/2010-34, decided in 2014. 

International marine hoses cartel - Administrative Proceeding No. 08012.010932/2007-18

Leniency Agreement signed in 08/13/2007. Proceeding decided in 02/25/2015.

International cartel in the sodium perborate market – Administrative Proceeding No.08012.001029/2007-66

Leniency Agreement signed in 09/11/2006. Proceeding decided in 02/25/2016.

International cartel in the market of refrigerator compressors – Administrative Proceeding No.08012.000820/2009-11

Leniency Agreement signed in 01/30/2009.  Proceeding decided in 03/16/2016. 

Contact the General Superintendence

If you want to apply for leniency, please contact the Chief of Staff of CADE's General Superintendence, the Deputy General Superintendent and/or the General Superintendent.

The contact should be made by phone 55 61 3221-8445, in attendance at meetings or by the e-mail , requesting specifically to talk about a "Marker Request".