By Lise Alves
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s CADE (anti-trust agency) announced on Monday it is opposed to the creation of a minimum value to be charged for cargo freight transport. The measure was one of conditions put forth by independent truck drivers to end their 11-day strike at the beginning of June.
“The consolidated understanding of Cade, is that price fixing constitutes an infraction of the economic order that can be condemned,” said the document sent by CADE authorities to Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (STF).
According to CADE, freight tariffs limit competition, damaging society and may lead to the creation of a cartel in the industry.
The anti-trust agency also believes that stipulating a minimum price for freight transportation may backfire on independent truck drivers. According to Cade there is a real risk that, if approved, large companies will install their own transportation fleets or that many truck drivers will not enforce the stipulated minimum, creating a distortion within the sector.
In the document sent to the Supreme Court, Cade recalls that throughout the years, the few economic plans where price stipulation and direct intervention by the government in market prices was ordered, the economic balance was not established.
The stipulation of a minimum price for freight transportation was one of the demands made by independent truckers and accepted by the federal government at the end of May to try to end the 11-day standstill that affected several sectors of the economy.
Since then, the government has already edited two freight price tables. The first was published in the Official Registry on May 30th and a revised version was announced on June 7th. The price table, however, remained valid for only a few hours, since it ended up being suspended by ANTT (National Land Transportation Agency) on the same day.