Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
In the 2007 movie Elizabeth the Golden Age, Cate Blanchett reprises her role as Queen Elizabeth I during some of England's most important events. In the contemporary world, we are about to witness the end of the term of Elizabeth Farina, the President of Brazil's CADE. Indeed, 4 of the 5 CADE Commissioners will soon be replaced due to the end of their terms. If we look back at the term of Farina, my sense is that her term has been the Golden Age of Brazilian competition policy at CADE (coinciding with a Golden Age in the other two Brazilian competition authorities SDE and SEAE). What changed? If you compare CADE now vs pre-Farina, CADE is more transparent and provides better reasoned decisions. Farina helped solve some of the institutional problems in terms of relations and overlap with the other Brazilian competition authorities. Moreover, she helped to make Brazil the premier competition jurisdiction in Latin America-- one that has served as a model for newer agencies in the region. Within global antitrust circles, she has made Brazilian antitrust an important voice in international antitrust institutions. This is not to suggest that more cannot be done to improve competition policy in Brazil or that there are not institutional malfunctions remains in the structure of Brazilian competition policy. Rather, if one compares the world of pre-Farina CADE with the immediate post-Farina world, one should be impressed with the results. Given the high turnover of CADE Commissioners in the very near term, my hope is that institutional memory and effectiveness will not be lost with a new set of CADE Commissioners.