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General introduction to the legislative framework for private antitrust enforcement

Article 47 of the Competition Act generically establishes that those injured by an anticompetitive conduct may go to court to defend their individual or collective interests, to seek an injunction to cease the anticompetitive practice and to recover damages.

Private lawsuits can be brought regardless of the existence of an administrative decision on an anticompetitive practice, and even before an administrative proceeding itself is instated. In addition, the existence of a private claim does not stay the administrative proceeding, which develops independently.

Both individuals and corporations can be sued, either individually or collectively. Private antitrust lawsuits can also take the form of individual enforcement actions or collective actions.

Coupled with the provisions in the Competition Act, the Brazilian Civil Code and the Brazilian Civil Procedure Code (CPC) also set out general rules governing private lawsuits. Moreover, collective actions are further governed by a specific legal system that brings together several laws and regulations, such as the Brazilian Consumer Protection Code and the Public Class Actions Law.