Volume 29 (2006) / Issue 2
This article examines whether the Brazilian competition authorities are being responsive. Within this context, it answers the following questions: (i) whether the theoretical conditions for the use of responsive regulation and the benign big gun are present in Brazil and (ii) if they are present, how the authorities have been using the benign big gun. The model suggested by Ayres and Braithwaite in the book “Responsive Regulation---Transcending the Deregulation Debate” is used as a guideline for assessing the environment the Brazilian competition authorities operate within.The article describes the conditions necessary for the benign big gun to operate (presence of a hierarchy of sanctions and interventionism, adequate height of the enforcement pyramid, use of a TFT strategy) and concludes that the model can be applied to the competition system. Furthermore, the basic tools for the benign big gun are available to the Brazilian competition authorities but the use of TFT is inadequate.This condition impacts on the use of persuasion and negotiation techniques, the results of which are far from those predicted by the model. The failure to escalate convincingly has an adverse impact on the credibility to make threats and consequently, on using the benign big gun. This article has been shortlisted for the 1st World Competition Young Writer Award.
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