Brazilian Senate approves new competition law bill with amendments

On December 1st the Brazilian Senate has approved the bill for a new competition law.

Because the Senate has proposed amendments to the bill, it will return to the Chamber for review of acceptance of each of the amendments.

The bill was originally proposed by the government in 2005 and had previously been approved by the Chamber of Representatives in 2009.

The proposal for a new competition law was aimed to simplifying the institutional structure of the Brazilian Competition Authorities as well as implementing a pre-merger review process. Brazil currently has 3 different agencies involved in antitrust proceedings and is one of the very few jurisdictions that allow parties to conclude the merger before receiving green light from the enforcers.

One of the amendments to the bill proposed by the Senate is been subject to controversy. If accepted by the Chamber, the turnover thresholds for mandatory filing of mergers would be raised from R$400million to R$1billion, locally. Critics say Brazil would then have one of the highest thresholds in the World and therefore would face the risk of not been notified mergers that could have the potential to harm competition.

It is expected that the bill will be voted by the Chamber in the course of next year. It will not have immediate effects – the bill provides for a 12 month period for the restructuring of the authorities and preparation for the new pre-merger review system

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