SAMPAIO FERRAZ ADVOGADOS’ competition team remained steady with no partner additions or losses in the last year, although the firm added new partners in other areas. Founder Tercio Sampaio Ferraz Jr is the revered boss of this family-run firm boutique and a respected academic who acquaintances address as “professor”.
The firm remains at the forefront of some big cases, including providing counsel to Americas Trading Group subsidiaries ATS and ACS in their opposition to the BM&FBOVESPA/Cetipmerger. The companies sought comprehensive remedies to address the risks of market foreclosure against incumbents in the relevant markets related to stock exchanges in Brazil. In March 2017, CADE approved the merger with conditions that the firm touts as tailored to the requests made by ATS and ACS.
Sampaio Ferraz is active in the behavioural sphere as well, providing counsel to the trade group Standard Norms Executive Council (CENP) in administrative proceedings regarding alleged anticompetitive behaviour in the market for advertising. The case was initiated ex officio by the now-defunct Secretariat for Economic Law, but in January 2017 CADE’s tribunal agreed to close the proceedings and dismiss all charges against CENP. The team also counselled Buscapé in the company’s claim against Google for leveraging its monopoly in search to benefit its shopping business in the downstream market of price comparisons. CADE has opened an administrative procedure against Google, which is still pending at time of writing.