Associations SINTRACON (autonomous carriers) and SEVEICULOS (transport companies) entered into an agreement, on 03.29.2017, as a way to end the conflicts (including possible paralyzes and demonstrations) in their activities in the region around Itajaí, Santa Catarina state. The agreement contained a clause stating that “the percentage of fifteen percent (15%) is agreed upon the values of internal freights in force before the paralysis movement”. Another important clause sets forth: “The signatories are preparing a consultation with CADE (…) to resolve doubts about constitutionality and formation of cartel and reserve market, minimum freight values table”.

The consultation was filed, being attributed the number 08700.001540/2018-62, and, being reported by Commissioner Paula Azevedo, was presented at the 03.27.2018 trial session. As an illustration of her reaction, the Reporting Commissioner made the following points: “This Council has already had the opportunity to speak on a number of occasions about the use of price lists and tables by associations and trade unions, setting the practice as an influence on adoption of uniform commercial behavior (…)”.

At the trial, CADE’s Tribunal followed the vote deciding that “the possible adoption, by the Trade Unions, of minimum freight price tables to be used in the contracting of unionized services can harm competition”, thus recommending the “abstention from the conduct”. Also important was the final part of the decision; the consultation was converted into an administrative proceeding against the two trade unions, since the conduct subject to the consultation was already being practiced. This means that consultations should only be filed before and not during the conducts.