The effectiveness of Brazilian competition law
Attempts to regulate competition in Brazil have been made since the early 1960s without much success. However, with the adoption of trade liberalisation measures in the early 1990s, competition has gradually been regarded as an essential element of the process of liberalisation of the economy, and thus efforts have been made to develop and enforce competition law and policy. This thesis describes and evaluates competition law in Brazil during this last period. It critically analyses the legislation, the practices of enforcement agencies and the relevant case law. Emphasis is given to the study of cases which involve restrictive business practices as well as mergers, and which have been decided at the administrative level. This thesis highlights four main points: 1) developing countries should try to develop their own approach to competition law, and avoid adopting models created in other countries that reflect another reality; 2) competition legislation must define the approach to be adopted in the implementation of competition law in order to avoid uncertainty in the market; 3) a well structured institutional framework is necessary for the enforcement of competition law and policy; and 4) competition policy should be part of a coherent set of economic policies adopted by the government. The conclusion of this thesis is that competition policy in Brazil has not yet produced significant results. Factors that undermine competition policy in Brazil are the system for the enforcement of the law, the lack of coherence in case law, and changes in economic policy. On the other hand, there has been some progress: the legislation covers the main aspects of competition; the performance of enforcement agencies is improving; these agencies are co-ordinating their enforcement practices; and there is growing awareness among economic actors in Brazil that competition is desirable and should be protected.