During the September 5 Trial Session, CADE’s Tribunal closed an investigation against American Natural Soda Ash Corp. (“ANSAC”) and its associates. The Defendants were investigated for allegedly forming a cartel to export soda-ash.
ANSAC, in its defense, claimed that it was duly constituted under US laws as an exports association, thus enjoying antitrust exemption. It also alleged that, during the entire period of investigation at CADE, none of the customers officiated by CADE were contrary to its existence, and that it produced several pro-competitive effects on the Brazilian market.
Reporting Commissioner Paulo Burnier, who was followed by all other Commissioners, followed the General-Superintendence’s opinion, voting to close the case due to a lack of negative effects on the Brazilian market.
Despite this vote, the Commissioner also pointed out that there is no such antitrust exemption in Brazil, and the association could have been convicted if its activities had taken effect on Brazil. In such cases, the antitrust exemption in the country of origin (where the association is based) does not ensure that the same type of exemption is granted in the destination country.