CADE opens an investigation on alleged anti-competitive practice in the fuel resale market

The General Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense initiated an administrative inquiry on the 19th of February to investigate possible collusive conduct in the fuel resale market related to price increases in all states of the Federation.

The investigation, which targets the Federal Trade Union of Fuels and Lubricants of the Federal District (Sindicombustíveis / DF) and its president, Paulo Tavares, started from statements made in matters of websites with a broad audience in the DF, as well as in an interview with CB.Poder.

The president of Sindicombustíveis / DF reported the imminent price readjustment to be practised by fuel dealers in the Federal District, informing previously that the value would be R $ 0.10. In the articles and the interview. Tavares argued that the readjustments were due to the increase followed by the refinery prices, both gasoline and anhydrous alcohol, and the change in the value of the ICMS, charged on the average market price.

The union's public manifestations can be framed as influencing the adoption of uniform commercial conduct, or even the hub and spoke cartel, given the union's supposed intention of acting as a facilitator of collusion between resellers.

In previous investigations, Cade found that the same union had used the practice. In this case, the entity expressed the need to readjust fuel resale prices and used press channels to signal such increases. (Case No. 08012.008859 / 2009-86)

Class entities' action to recommend the practice of price readjustments by their members, coordinating the performance of agents in the market, goes against Law No. 12,529 / 11 insofar as it generates or has the potential to create anti-competitive effects.

In addition to opening the investigation, SG / Cade also determined that the fuel resale market should be monitored to track dealers' possible collusive behaviour in all states of the Federation.