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CADE's Department of Economic Studies launches an economic study to detect bid rigging cartels

The analysis, written in English, sought to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Moran's I statistic applied to a specific case of alleged cartel in market for cardiac implant devices.

On December 20, the Department of Economic Studies of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (DEE/CADE ) launched its 5th Working Paper in 2019, available only in English, entitled "Operationalization Guide for Technical Cooperation with Persecution and Control Agencies”.

The study aims to present an economic filter methodology for the detection of bid rigging cartels, based on the statistical I-Moran model.

The model proposes the use of statistics to identify collusive behaviors in electronic bids. As such, the applied model verifies if the bids offered by companies during the first phase of electronic bidding have positive and statistically significant autocorrelation among themselves - which could indicate the formation of a cartel.

According to Guilherme Mendes Resende, Economist-Chief of DEE/CADE and one of the study’s authors, said that “It is noteworhty that this type of tool is extremely useful for improving CADE's final performance, as it allows proactive and preventive detection and fight against bid rigging cartels ”[1] .

In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed filter, the work has already applied the tool to a specific case involving an alleged cartel in the implantable cardiac devices market.

Finally, the paper also discusses the main practical advantages and disadvantages for the implementation of the filter based on I-Moran statistics.

Other DEE Studies

CADE’s Department of Economic Studies (DEE) has been preparing and making available to the public several Working Papers and Opinions. Only in 2019, the agency has so far managed to produce 5 Working Papers.

The studies developed by DEE aim to offer technical assistance to the decisions issued by the General Superintendence and by CADE’s Tribunal in Merger Review Procedures and in Investigations, as well as to foster debate and research in the society on economic tools related to the antitrust policy.

See below the 10-year retrospective of Working Papers already published by DEE:


This paper evaluates if there is systematic correlation between the bids that are placed by competitors in the sealed phase of procurement auctions, which is a situation that may suggest coordinated and fraudulent behavior. By applying Moran's I statistically to the residuals of controlled bid regressions and using a novel and public database, we show that the bids that were placed by the investigated companies have positive and statistically significant autocorrelation .

Evaluates the benefit generated by combating the fuel cartel operated in the Federal District (DF). Investigations of the case of cartel in the resale of fuels in the DF began after complaint of the conduct on November 6, 2009.

It evaluates the competitive impacts of the merger involving Sadia and Perdigão, a merger that led to BRF Brasil Foods , in the frozen products market in Brazil from 2008 to 2013.

It addresses the relationship between market competition and policy measures aimed at granting domestic companies an exemption from external competitive pressure.

It evaluates the benefit generated by the fight against the crushed stone cartel that occurred in the metropolitan region of São Paulo.


It seeks to estimate cartel damage at gas stations in southern Brazil using both a reduced equation and a structural model of demand and supply.

Analyzes the competitive impacts of Uber's entry into the taxi application market.


It addresses the phenomenon of business-to-business cooperation for innovation and joint research and development (R&D).

Discusses the adoption of competition indicators to compare market power across sectors of the manufacturing industry.

Evaluates anti-dumping actions applied to foreign firms that have been petitioned by domestic companies.


It assesses Cade's ability to prevent Brazilian cartels using data from a tried and convicted case: the Peroxides Cartel.

It analyzes the definition of relevant geographic market of hospitals and the current location of private hospitals in the main cities of Brazil.


Evaluates the immediate economic impacts of Uber application entry in the cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and the Federal District during the first half of 2015.

It describes the cement and concrete production chain, analyzing structural aspects that may influence free competition in the sector.

It addresses the regulatory and economic aspects of the individual passenger transport markets, more specifically for the taxi and paid passenger markets.


Discusses the adoption of competition indicators to guide antitrust practice in Brazil.


It presents a synthesis of the quantitative methods that can be used for relevant market delimitation, making a review of the methods used in the SBDC and, at the end, makes use recommendations and trends identification and method application suggestions.


It sets out the most important set of methodologies for the empirical analysis of demand and presents the use of these methods in selected acts of concentration and, in the end, makes recommendations for the practical use of the described methods.


[1] Available at: . Access on 22.12.2019.

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