On June 29, 2007, Ms. Mariana Araujo, the head of the Secretariat of Economic Law (SDE), the antitrust agency in charge of investigating and prosecuting anticompetitive conducts, made a presentation to the Antitrust Committee of the Brazilian Bar Association (Sao Paulo Chapter) of SDE's strategic working plan for the next four years. SDE's priority will continue to be the prosecution of hardcore cartels, now focusing on collusion investigations involving the public procurement area. According to SDE, cartels have caused damages to the government ranging from US$ 12.5 to 20 million per year.

To achieve this objective: (i) SDE has already created a department in charge of antitrust analysis of public procurement, (ii) SDE and the Federal police will jointly create a cartel investigation intelligence center, (iii) SDE will approach other governmental entities which deal with competitive bids and projects budget and review of public accounts to develop a common agenda, and (iv) the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank will finance studies to create economic indicators to monitor the sector, as well as to implement more efficient procedures to investigate illegal agreements among competitors in this area.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.