Brazil: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) collusion

Brazil: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) collusion

“Brazil’s antitrust agency has opened an inquiry into 11 companies for allegedly colluding to fix prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and divvying up customers in northeastern states, in the latest probe into suspected anticompetitive behavior.

Brasilia-based government watchdog Cade said companies exchanged information and imposed restrictions on resellers in order to promote an artificial regulation of the market and to facilitate the functioning of alleged cartels.

Some of the firms under investigation include Liquigás Distribuidora SA, a unit of state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, and Cia Ultragaz SA, a subsidiary of Ultrapar Participações SA, Cade said.

Suspicions of a so-called cartel in the LPG market first rose in 2009 when oil industry watchdog ANP filed a complaint, followed by a series of police and prosecutor investigations, the statement said. Searches and raids also took place a year later as part of a similar probe into anticompetitive prices.”

Texts from: http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL1N1B60HC

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