THE Zurich accused the Competition Authority (AdC) of “opaqueness” and “injustice” in the insurance cartel process for “unexplained” decisions and for rewarding collaboration in a way not foreseen in the law.

Zurich’s representative, Ricardo Junqueiro, made his final arguments today in the judgment of the appeals lodged with the Competition, Regulation and Supervision Court (TCRS), in Santarém, by Zurich, by Lusitânia and by four directors of these insurers to the fines imposed by AdC, in the process in which Tranquilidade and Fidelidade assumed they had participated in a cartel to fix prices and share the market in non-life insurance for large customers, benefiting from the leniency programme.

Returning to what he had already said in the initial phase of the trial, the lawyer reaffirmed that the process “stains” competition law and the regulator’s prestige, regretting that the heads of companies that benefited from leniency and that confessed to having used disposable mobile phones and secret meetings have seen their files filed.

For Ricardo Junqueiro, there are several decisions in the process that are “incomprehensible, opaque, unfounded”, that “pinch” the AdC, such as the “unequal” way in which the parties involved in the agreement were treated, with Tranquilidade and Fidelidade and those responsible for benefits greater than those granted by the leniency regime.

With regard to individual targets, lawyers for Zurich and its former director Nuno Catarino lamented that the AdC had “confirmed that it had archived” the processes “in exchange for collaboration”, which, they said, “is not acceptable in a State governed by the rule of law”. Democratic”.

They also pointed out the way in which the value of the fine to be applied was calculated, with Zurich being condemned to pay an amount (21.5 million euros) calculated from the business volume of business customers, when for Fidelidade it was considering only that relating to large customers, questioning why the seriousness that cartel conduct represents was not applied here.

Ricardo Junqueiro found it incomprehensible that, in the case of Tranquilidade (currently Seguradoras Unidas), which, as it was at the origin of the process, was exempt from paying the fine, it still benefited from the 10% for withdrawal of any judicial litigation, a decision that the AdC “would be obliged to explain”, not having done so.

Zurich’s agents pointed to the “unequal” treatment given to the individual responsible for the insurers who confessed to the agreement and those of the applicants, considering that the AdC “deviated from the principle of legality” by using the archiving “as a prize”.

The representative of Paulo Conceição, former director of the commercial area of ​​Lusitânia, also pointed out the unequal treatment and adhered to the request made by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which today defended the filing or acquittal of the individual applicants, stressing that he had never before seen “such treatment diametrically opposed between defendants”.

In its allegations, the Public Ministry asked for the acquittal of Zurich and the reduction of the fine for Lusitânia from 20.5 to 2.5 million euros.

The trial continues next Friday with Lusitania’s allegations.

In 2019, the AdC condemned Lusitânia and Zurich, two directors and two directors of these insurers, to fines in excess of 42 million euros, an amount to which is added the 12 million euros already paid by Fidelidade and Multicare, with Seguradoras Unidas (former Tranquilidade) was exempted from paying a fine.

According to the AdC, the companies involved in the cartel agreed with each other the values ​​they presented to large corporate clients in contracting work accident, health and car insurance, always presenting higher values, so that the client would remain with the insurer already contracted.

The opening of the investigation took place in May 2017, following a request for waiver or reduction of the fine (request for clemency) submitted by Seguradoras Unidas, to the AdC, which was followed by Fidelidade – Companhia de Seguros and Multicare – Seguros de Health.

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