Brazil: Unveiling the vertical merger landscape - A decade of assessments by CADE’s Tribunal

Over the past decade, vertical mergers have gained prominence at the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), the Brazilian Antitrust Authority. The proportion of such mergers has increased from 13% in 2013 to 46% in 2022. In response to this trend, the authority is preparing to release its first guidelines on assessing non-horizontal mergers. This article fills a gap by analyzing 61 vertical merger cases reviewed by the CADE’s Tribunal between May 2012 and December 2022. The findings provide valuable insights into CADE’s approach to vertical mergers and benefit practitioners and researchers in Brazil’s antitrust landscape.

I. Brazil to publish its first non-horizontal merger guidelines 1. Brazil is in the process of publishing its first non-horizontal merger guidelines, with a public consultation scheduled to launch in 2023. [1] The guidelines are deemed to be long overdue, given the fact that there are already a set of guidelines in merger control matters, such as Horizontal Mergers (2016), Gun Jumping (2015), and Remedies (2018), and considering CADE’s extensive decisional practice. [2] 2. Discussions on the assessment of vertical mergers and the most suitable antitrust policy to be adopted in cases of such nature have ratcheted up after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revoked its brand-new vertical merger guidelines issued jointly with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in September 2021. The FTC

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