As his 2-year term expired, the President of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), Mr. Arthur Badin Sanchez, left office on the 6th November 2010. Mr. Badin said “it was the end of an eight-year career dedicated to the public service, specially to the Brazilian Antitrust Authorities”.
When Mr. Arthur Badin was appointed CADE’s President after harsh criticism of large corporations which faced him as CADE’s Attorney Office in courts, he promised his work would be committed to three key goals, which had already been established in 2009-2010 CADE Strategic Planning. The goals were the following:
1) To promote the modernization of Brazilian antitrust legislation and to reform the CADE;
2) To increase the level of enforcement of antitrust policy; and
3) To transform the CADE into a reference for the public administration.
For Mr. Arthur Badin, only the first goal was not fully achieved, because the bill to amend the Brazilian Antitrust Law is still under analysis by the National Congress – incidentally, this blogger is very skeptical about how long its approval will take. Even so, the progress under Mr. Badin’s term were remarkable and Brazilian antitrust policy is stronger than it was two years ago.
A less optimistic eye would point out the growing delay in the merger review cases. Furthermore, as Mr. Arthur Badin himself warned in a speech given to the Antitrust Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association – Chapter São Paulo (OAB/SP) on the 29th October 2010 , the risk of politicization at the CADE exists, since the agency has gained reputation over the last 10 years – differently from what happened to other Brazilian regulatory agencies, the CADE insulated itself from most of political pressure which undermines the technicality of the antitrust decisions. The budget of the Brazilian Antitrust Authorities has grown over the same period although the personnel remains more or less stable.
Not only did Arthur Badin leave the CADE, but also is Councilman César Mattos waiting for his reappointment for a second term. Finally, it is worth mentioning that SDE’s head, Ms. Mariana Tavares, also left office. These changes raise concerns in relation to the continuity of the good phasis of the Brazilian antitrust policy, taking into consideration that the new Brazilian President Dima Roussef has never deal with the matter, let alone metioned it in its political promises.
For CADE’s official press release, click here.