CADE releases information note on collaboration between competitors to face the Covid-19 crisis

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense has published a brief information note in which it deals with the collaboration between companies in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. The document provides guidance on the parameters recommended in the elaboration of strategies to combat the pandemic and on the procedures available for economic agents to obtain CADE's statement.

Collaborative agreements between competitors are those that establish forms of action between companies in the same market, on an emergency, urgent and provisional basis, with the objective of overcoming adversities resulting from a comprehensive and non-sectoral crisis, as well as mitigating its main effects to preserve competition in the affected sectors.

In the context of the crisis arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, antitrust authorities around the world are making efforts to provide swift analysis procedures and provide guidance to market players. With the publication of the document, CADE seeks to promote greater transparency and legal certainty, giving guidance on collaboration between companies and establishing swift and effective analysis mechanisms to support the strategies of these agents in combating the pandemic.

The general guidelines for collaboration between companies involve considerations regarding scope, duration, territorial extension, governance, transparency and good faith. Besides, the note also presents the procedures that can be adopted by economic agents to obtain a statement from the autarchy - communication channel, petition and consultation - with vast details about each one.

"It is important to emphasize that agreements between competitors for price combination, market division and supply restriction will continue to be vehemently repressed by the competition authority, as well as the exchange of competitively sensitive information between companies, in compliance with the competition law and the consolidated jurisprudence. Strategies that involve collaboration between companies must observe all precautions so that such types of competitive infractions do not occur, under the risk that they will be investigated and punished for the crimes committed", states the information note.

The brief information note is the result of the Working Group established to prepare the document and coordinated by counsellor Paula Azevedo. The document is for instructional purposes only and is not binding.