GDR: Brazil to make credit score registration automatic

Marcela Mattiuzzo spoke to Global Data Review (GDR) about the approval by Brazil’s Federal Senate of the Draft Supplementary Law No 54/2019, a bill which amends the country’s Banking Secrecy Law and implements an opt-out policy to the Positive Register.Marcela Mattiuzzo, a partner at VMCA in Sao Paulo, told GDR that although the most discussed element of the bill is the introduction of the opt-out clause, she thinks the bill shores up data protection standards.

“I think there are many provisions in this modified bill that are more protective of data in general. For example, the bill prohibits the collection of data not related to credit and sensitive information in relation to consumers’ credit scores.”

Mattiuzzo added that the bill is intended to make the credit market more competitive. “If more people were registered on the Positive Registry, companies would be able to offer better and cheaper credit – this is what the Ministry of Economy argued.”

Full article available here.

VMCA partner to speak at FTC hearing on competition and consumer protection

VMCA partner Marcela Mattiuzzo will be a speaker at the 11th session of the Federal Trade Commission’s Hearings Initiative, entitled “The FTC’s Role in a Changing World”, which will focus on the agency’s international work. The hearing will take place in Washington, D.C. on March 25-26.

The session will explore the FTC’s international role in light of globalization, technological change, and the increasing number of competition, consumer protection, and privacy laws and enforcement agencies around the world. Speakers will address the implications of international developments on the FTC’s work on behalf of American consumers.

Marcela will be a panelist at the “International Engagement and Emerging Technologies: Artificial Intelligence Case Study” panel, alongside Chinmayi Arun (National Law University Delhi), James Dipple-Johnstone (Information Commissioner’s Office, United Kingdom), Francis Kariuki (Competition Authority of Kenya), Isabelle de Silva (Autorité de la Concurrence, France) and Omer Tene (Stanford University).

The debate will be moderate by Deon Woods Bell and Ellen Connelly, both from the Federal Trade Commission.

Full program available here.

GCR Awards 2019

We are honored to announce that two merger cases in which we had a leading involvement in 2018 have been shortlisted at the GCR’s Awards 2019 in the “Merger Control Matter of the Year — Americas” category:  ArcelorMittal/Votorantim Siderurgia and Suzano/Fibria Celulose, the first led by partner Vinicius Marques de Carvalho and the latter by partner Eduardo Frade.

According to GCR, Arcelor/Votorantim “was one of the most complex matters in Brazil in 2018. It generated significant horizontal overlaps in the long steel industry, being initially seen as three-to-two merger in a mature industry with high barriers to entry. The Superintendence — the investigative arm of Brazil’s CADE — conducted a very close probe and recommended blocking the merger. After intense discussions and many detailed submissions, CADE cleared the merger, conditioned on divestitures. This is the only case ever in Brazil to receive a blocking recommendation from the Superintendence that later obtained a clearance decision from CADE’s tribunal”.

Suzano / Fibria, on its side, was the biggest merger analyzed by CADE in 2018 and was described by the publication as “Suzano’s acquisition of Fibria combined the two largest players in the wood pulp industry in Brazil and created the world’s largest hardwood pulp producer. From a Brazilian standpoint, resulting market shares went beyond 50%, but, given the companies’ global footprint and the worldwide dynamics of the market, they were able to show CADE that the combination would not raise concerns. CADE engaged in a very thorough market test and successfully confirmed the theory presented by the companies, and ultimately cleared the deal with no restrictions. It was also cleared in the US, China and other jurisdictions”.

Voting is open until midnight EST on February 22. We invite our clients and friends to support our nominations here.

Lex Latin: VMCA abre práctica dedicada a la protección de datos en Brasil

VMCA has opened a data protection and privacy practice, tells Lex Latin. Existing partner Marcela Mattiuzzo will lead the new data protection and privacy practice. According to the firm, the incoming Brazilian Data Protection Law was behind the move and the practice will focus on compliance, information security and unfair competition. Founding partner and former antitrust chief Vinicius Marques de Carvalho said that the new practice will complement the firm’s current regulatory and competition offering.

Full article available here.

Brazil’s VMCA Advogados opens data practice

VMCA has opened a data protection and privacy practice, tells Latin Lawyer. Vinicius Marques de Carvalho told Latin Lawyer’s sister publication Global Data Review that as a firm focused on the “relation between economics and law”, data protection will be a good fit. He said its extensive government expertise will stand it in good stead in dealings with the new National Data Protection Authority, which he envisages should work in a similar way to CADE. Partner Marcela Mattiuzzo, head of the new practice, said that the firm will also seek to advocate for a strong data protection authority.

Full article available here.

Op-ed: Brazilian skies open for foreign business

In an article published by Latin Lawyer, partner Eduardo Frade and associate Guilherme Palu argue that the provisional measure opening Brazil’s aviation industry to unrestricted foreign investment could boost the economy and the legal sector, but only if congress makes the change permanent.

“Until last month, foreign companies that weren’t lucky enough to have a founder with Brazilian citizenship could invest no more than 20% in a Brazilian airline. After years of debate, this restriction was lifted on 13 December 2018 when the Brazilian federal government issued a temporary decree allowing foreigners to control 100% of airlines’ voting capital. This temporary decree, which needs to be approved by the national congress to become permanent, creates several investment opportunities for foreign investors and will likely result in more mergers and acquisitions in the sector. This also means opportunities for law firms to provide legal assistance on regulatory matters and structuring new businesses”.

Full article available here.

Brazilian Government Concessions — Q&A on the Newly Issued Bid Notices (Federal Government)

On November 30, 2018, the Brazilian Federal Government issued bid notices in order to transfer the operation of 12 airports, 4 port terminals and the “NorteSul” Railroad to the private sector. They are part of the Federal Government’s “Investment Partnerships Program” (PPI),  launched in 2016 to expand and accelerate private investments in the infrastructure sector. Since the public auctions can only take place one hundred days after the publication date of the bid notices in the Official Federal Gazette, the upcoming Bolsonaro Administration will be responsible for conducting them.

The key aspects of the issued bit notices are set out in this article.

VMCA partners speak at a competition law, consumer protection and digital economy seminar

VMCA partners Vinicius Marques de Carvalho and Marcela Mattiuzzo spoke on December 18th at the Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense (IDEC)’s seminar Competition law, consumer protection and digital economy: What are the spaces and opportunities for civil society organizations?. 

The event took place in São Paulo and aimed, among other subjects, to discuss the civil society organizations role in relation to competition law issues.

According to Vinicius, civil society groups should direct complaints to the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) when they see anticompetitive conduct. They should also ask to participate as interested third parties in merger reviews and ongoing probes, he said.

Vinicius also said that, when submitting documents to CADE, groups should always be clear in explaining the competition issues they see in the case: “looking at data, for example, a company holding a vast amount of data isn’t a problem by itself. You must have an argument for why this situation is a problem from an antitrust perspective”.

The seminar’s full programme is available here.

Siemens/Alstom could harm competition in Brazil

The proposed merger of European rail transportation leaders Siemens and Alstom may lower competition in the railway signalling market, Brazil’s antitrust watchdog has said, tells Global Competition Review (GCR).

Commenting on the General Superintendence’s decision of sending its report to CADE’s administrative tribunal without any specific recommendations for what conditions should be imposed, although arguing the deal should not be unconditionally cleared, partner Eduardo Frade explained to the British publication that it is not uncommon for the investigator to refrain from specifying proposed remedies. He said the investigative team tends only to recommend detailed conditions on cases on which it has strong opinions, to assist the tribunal in its assessments.

Full article available here.