Bribery and corruption in the private sector


George Mendonça de Lucena

Bribery and corruption in the private sector

Ollyy /

The crimes of corruption and unfair competition are covered in Brazilian law, but interpretation is complex, as George Mendonça de Lucena explains.

Free competition is amply protected in Brazil by rules that limit the market power of economic agents, prevent the practice of economic abuse (which can result in market dominance and be prejudicial to consumers), and protect competitive fairness against illicit behaviour. 

Generally, competition in the business environment produces extremely advantageous results for society. However, unscrupulous economic agents often use unlawful expedients that can alter the equality of competition. In those cases, we have what may be called dishonest, prohibited, or unfair competition.

The prevention and punishment of unfair competition not only concerns the interests of the competitors directly affected by the dishonest conduct, but also the guarantee of market efficiency and consumer protection. Therefore, the protection of free competition and the prohibition of restrictive practices are complementary: free competition implies that the broadening of the client base by an economic agent should occur only due to the quality of the goods or services marketed.

Paris Convention; IP laws; unfair competition; BIPL