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Brazil's CADE to probe Mastercard, others on collection of competitor data

Brazil's antitrust regulator CADE will investigate MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Elo for alleged contractual conditions imposed on Redecard SA that compel the payment processing company to gather sensitive information about their competitors.

CADE counselor Paula Azevedo said accessing data by a competitor can create an important competitive advantage, as the one holding the information can use it to leverage their trading strategies and reduce others' ability to compete.

However, Azevedo noted that the likelihood of creating anti-competitive effects depends on the nature of the information, market dynamics and the means used for sharing the information. Therefore, CADE needs to do a deeper analysis to verify the competitive impact of the exchange of sensitive data, Azevedo said.

"The acquisition by Redecard of information and prior data compiled by facilitators and commercial establishments may lead to the application of the competition law and, through an analysis of the effects of the conduct, constitute an unlawful act," the counselor added.

CADE will forward the case, which was requested by Redecard, to its superintendent-general, which will establish the procedure to follow on the matter.