CADE’s Superintendence renders opinion on Estácio and Uniseb merger
The General Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense – CADE rendered an opinion on February 27, referring to Cade’s Tribunal the analysis of the merger between Estácio Participações S/A and União dos Cursos Superiores SEB Ltda. – UNISEB (Merger no. 08700.009198/2013-34).
The Superintendence considered that the merger could generate scale efficiencies in a national level in the market of distance learning, which could be positive for competition in the sector, since these companies will be in better conditions to compete with the market leaders.
In contrast, it considered that the operation may also produce anticompetitive effects in undergraduate distance courses in nine Brazilian cities: Aracaju/SE, Salvador/BA, Natal/RN, Vitória/ES, Vila Velha/ES, Duque de Caxias/RJ, Belo Horizonte/MG, Ourinhos/MG and Juiz de Fora/MG. In these markets, the Superintendence understood that the remaining rivals and potential new competitors would not be able to challenge Estácio and UNISEB’s position in some of the offered courses.
The General Superintendence’s opinion recommends that Cade’s Tribunal evaluates possible remedies that may solve the identified competition concerns. Eventual restrictions to the operation will be defined by the Tribunal, which may apply them unilaterally or through an agreement with the parties.
After the merger’s referral to Cade’s Tribunal, the Reporting Commissioner Ana Frazão will be responsible for its analysis and, subsequently, it will be brought for trial.
The merger notification was filed on November 6 2013 and CADE’s legal deadline to render a final decision is 240 days, extendable for 90 days.