July 2021 saw important changes to the leadership of the Tribunal and the General Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE).

On 12 July 2021, Alexandre Cordeiro Macedo was appointed for a four-year term as CADE's new president, following the end of Alexandre Barreto de Souza's tenure in June 2021. Cordeiro had been the CADE general superintendent since 2017 and a commissioner between 2015 and 2017.

At the same time, Barreto de Souza was nominated for the position of general superintendent, for a two-year term. Gustavo Augusto Freitas de Lima was nominated for the position of commissioner, for a four-year term, following the end of Maurício Bandeira Maia's time in office on 11 July 2021. Both nominations still require approval by the Federal Senate before the official appointments are made.

However, even after the Senate's approval, the new general superintendent is not expected to take up his position before October 2021. This is because Cordeiro left office before his term came to an end, meaning that any immediate replacement would only stay in the position for the final few months of his term. Therefore, deputy general superintendents Patrícia Sakowski, in charge of mergers and unilateral conduct, and Diogo Thomson, in charge of cartels, will be covering the role in the interim.

Freitas de Lima, the potential new member of the CADE Tribunal, is currently the deputy head of legal affairs of the Presidency of the Republic. Gustavo holds a bachelor's degree in law and naval sciences with a specialisation in electronics, a postgraduate degree in public law and another in law and public policy. Gustavo has been a federal attorney since 2006 and has no previous experience with antitrust.

As the newly appointed president, Cordeiro has already made his stance clear on how CADE will approach antitrust issues in Brazil. He has repeatedly claimed that he has an orthodox view of competition and that he does not support movements in other jurisdictions that intend to "expand" the role of antitrust. Concerning Big Tech, for instance, he stated in the newspaper Folha de São Paulo that the CADE will only step in when there is a potential abuse from a competitor in a dominant position. In the same interview, he also explicitly said that "a market with few competitors is not necessarily a bad thing", mentioning, for example, natural monopolies that involve large infrastructure costs.

For further information on this topic please contact Marcela Mattiuzzo or Julia Braga at VMCA by telephone (+55 11 3939 0708) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The VMCA website can be accessed at www.vmca.adv.br.