One more step in the long road towards the new Brazilian Antitrust Law

Dear readers,

As I may have mentioned before, the duration of the legislative process in Brazil is very long, so that I personally thought the approval of the new Brazilian Antitrust Law would take some more years to take place. Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about, the bill leading to the first Brazilian Antitrust Law in 1962 was proposed by a representative in 1945.

Believe it or not, just to prove that I was wrong, the Brazilian Senate approved the bill yesterday – for further details in Portuguese, click here. Amazingly, its approval took just almost 5 years. However, as the Senate amended the bill approved by the House of the Representatives, the latter will have to vote it again.

I believe some of you may have already noticed my skepticism in relation to the bill under discussion in the Brazilian National Congress which will replace the current Brazilian Antitrust Law (Law # 8,884/94). Particularly, I do not think a new law is necessary – replacing the crazy post-merger review control by the pre-merger review control and simplifying the bureaucratic structure of the three Brazilian Antitrust Agencies would be more than enough.

As my fellow Latin American readers may agree with me, changing the law is always a good political speech to explain why certain things did not work before as they should. In Brazil, we have a saying which could be translated as «if you do not want to change anything, a good starting point is to change the law».

I will keep you posted about any development in this area.

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