Brazil's antitrust regulator probes alleged aviation insurance cartel

  • Brazil
  • 01/17/2019
  • Latin Lawyer

Janith Aranze

17 January 2019

Brazil’s antitrust watchdog is investigating 11 aviation and aerospace insurance and brokerage companies that allegedly exchanged information, in what appears to be a similar probe to one already underway by the European Commission.

In a statement on 14 January, the investigative arm of Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) said it has begun a probe into 11 insurance broker companies and 30 individuals.

The authority said the alleged conspiracy took place outside of Brazil, but it affected the international market and potentially the country’s economy.

The companies under investigation are American International Group, Amlin, Aon, Aspen Insurance, JLT Speciality, Liberty Global Group, Marsh, Tokio Marine Kiln, United Insurance Brokers, XL Group and Willis Group.

Those brokers allegedly exchanged data on pricing as well as other information concerning the aviation and aerospace insurance and reinsurance sectors from at least 1997 to April 2017, the enforcer said. Evidence exists that shows the information was exchanged by fax, email, telephone and in person at meetings, CADE said.

According to CADE’s investigative arm, there is further evidence that this collusion gave the companies a competitive advantage that potentially distorted competition.

A CADE spokesperson said econometric studies will be necessary to prove the conduct affected Brazilian customers and to define the scope of the investigation. In Brazil, conventional price-fixing and bid-rigging cartels are a by-object violation of competition rules, but information exchange alone is seen as a softer infringement that requires a rule-of-reason analysis… continue “here”