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Thought Leaders - Competition - Economists 2021

Q&A

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Fabiana Tito ranks highly among peers, and is lauded as “very knowledgeable in the use of quantitative methods”.

Questions & Answers

Ms Tito is a partner and co-head of the antitrust and regulatory team at Tendências Consultoria. She has a PhD in economics from University of São Paulo (USP), a joint master’s degree from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and graduated in economics (USP). Ms Tito has over 15 years of experience with competitive, regulatory and quantitative matters. Before joining the firm, she worked for four years as general coordinator at Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE) and for a year as an economic assistant at Competition Commission (CMA UK).

Describe your career to date.

During college, I was always interested in all the subjects related to quantitative methods, especially econometrics, and since the first year, I went to work with an excellent econometrics professor (Denisard Alves – who has a PhD in economics at Yale University). He recommended I do an exchange/internship at Yale, where I could study more econometric subjects and work with some great professors there (I worked on some World Bank projects). 

On the way back, Prof. Denisard called me to work with him on one of the biggest cases of merger analysis in Brazilian antitrust (Nestle/Garoto – chocolate sector), applying quantitative models to assess impacts on price and rivalry after the transaction (simulation analysis). In recognition of this work, and having already graduated in economics at that time, I participated right after in a selection process to work at the Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE) – which by that time, had a department called Secretariat of Economic Law, at the Ministry of Justice. I worked there for four years with a highly trained team and in a very rich environment, learning a lot! My responsibility was to assess, from an economic point of view, all complex cases of merger and abuse of a dominant position (cartel and other anticompetitive conduct). Also, I helped, along with other colleagues, to develop and implement quantitative methods in Brazilian antitrust cases. Working at the government also gave me an excellent opportunity to do a great course on development polices in Tokyo, Japan with a fellowship granted by the Japanese Government (JICA).

After my time at CADE, I decided to get back to studies and applied to do a master’s degree at Barcelona GSE (Pompeu Fabra University and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) in competition policy and market regulation with some renowned professors in this field (Massimo Motta, Mas-Colell, Tommaso Valletti, Natalia Fabra, Jorge Padilla, among others). They allowed me to learn even more about the theoretical part of antitrust. It was a great period of personal, academic and professional learning where I was able to interact with professors, colleagues, case discussions, and live in a very multicultural city/university.

Shortly after completing the master’s degree, I went to the job market and I got some internships opportunities in antitrust consultancy firms (Madrid and London). I also worked for a year as an economist assistant at Competition Commission (now integrated into the CMA-UK), where I was also able to learn a lot from excellent professionals, such as Nicola Mazzaroto, Alisson Oldale, Peter Davis, among others.

After a period abroad, I returned to Brazil to work at Tendencias Consultoria to join my ex professor at USP and the former President of CADE, Elizabeth Farina. Since then I have worked and helping to strengthen the consultancy on competition and regulatory matters to assist clients from the most different sectors to guide and advise several complex cases, involving competition and regulation, together with Prof. Farina and other member partners. In addition, I have helped form the team of consultants at Tendencias, who are excellent analysts.

Given my passion for economics and constant learning, after a few years of “only” working at Tendencies, I decided to combine work and studies, plus doing some marathon training exercises in between – it was not easy at all. During this time I have done eleven marathons (completing six major marathons), and I am now doing triathlons (I have done an ironman 70.3 too). Physical activity gives us discipline and resilience to meet different goals, tasks and challenges. 

I got into a tough doctoral selection process at USP. It was almost five years of studies with very intense routine of work and studies – which ended in 2018. My thesis was on damage cartel calculation – the theme has been cited by several government agencies and used as a reference for damage claim actions. During my PhD, I also represented and led the team of USP in the international championship of Econometric Games in Amsterdam (2015).

I have been at Tendencias for over 10 years now and I am very active in antitrust and regulatory discussions, participating in the organisation of and lecturing at events, teaching courses, writing articles and chapters of books, among other activities in the academic and professional fields on competition and regulation. I also spent four years on the board of IBRAC, Brazil’s association of antitrust practitioners), and for 2020 to 2021 I am the IBRAC’s director of economics, helping to bring important antitrust issues to the debate.

What inspired you to specialise in competition economics?

During my career I have been very fortunate to have contact with very inspiring and admirable people both at work and at university. Professors, professionals and workplaces that inspired me to study and enjoy the topic. The most interesting thing is that, as an economist, in competition policy, it is possible to apply microeconomic theory and quantitative methods to answer important questions of antitrust analysis and regulatory impact.

What is the most interesting case you have been part of?

What a difficult answer! As I have worked on so many cases, both on the side of the competition authority in Brazil and the United Kingdom, as well as on the private side, I had the opportunity to have discussed several challenging cases. I believe those that require me to think outside of traditional methods are the most interesting ones. Challenges related to the use of quantitative methods always exist and demand important economic analyses. The increased use of data (big data and others) brings more pepper to the challenge.

How has your experience in international consultancy and at the CMA - Competition Commission enhanced your current practice?

As I mentioned above, I believe that my international experience in other consultancies and in the Competition Authority (now CMA) has been very important in understanding how analyses are done in other jurisdictions, to learn from other great professionals and to have discussed important cases in group discussion. Different work environments always add a lot, both as a benchmark and in learning. Europe is always an excellent reference for analysis for Brazil.

What impact do you see covid-19 having on competition policy?

Covid-19 has had some consequences for antitrust analysis. For example, in view of the economic recession, some discussions about abusive pricing have been raised by government agencies, with proposals for intervention in the market – something we know that we must be careful in applying. In addition, issues related to economic deterioration appear, such as failing firm defence and cooperative agreements between companies. These are new themes that may require new perspectives of analysis.

What are the main challenges currently facing competition economists?

I would say that the main challenge for competition economists is to show that our work adds a lot of value in competition policy analysis. Competition policy involves discussions that require showing economic rationality of why a competitive concern exists or may not. The challenge is to know how to address an economic technical solution in a didactic way so that everyone can understand it, especially lawyers.

How does Tendências Consultoria Integrada distinguish itself from its competitors? 

Tendências has an established reputation in the market for over 24 years, with around 80 experienced professionals who are graduates from the best universities in Brazil and abroad. We have built our credibility on the quality of our technical analysis, combined with the knowledge and experience of our widely respected partners and analysts, relying on a team that boasts professionalism and a strong academic track record. 

We seek to evolve constantly to provide the most up-to-date solutions, integrating our knowledge on several branches of economics and finance, and our expertise in the most pressing issues for companies and government bodies.

Working under non-disclosure and exclusive agreements in most of our projects, we do not act in conflict of interest. Producing independent and unbiased opinions and analyses is vital for us.

What is the best piece of career advice you have received?

Do something you like – when you admire and enjoy the people you work with and what you are doing, time just passes effortlessly. Also never stop learning – continuous learning is key to staying tuned to the discussions. But something I have always had in a natural way is not to be afraid of challenges and be outside of my comfort zone – getting out of your comfort zone is key to getting ready for your next role.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended
WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Fabiana Tito ranks highly among peers, and is lauded as "very knowledgeable in the use of quantitative methods".

Biography

Fabiana is a partner and co-heads the antitrust and regulatory team at Tendências Consultoria Integrada (Tendências), the most renowned economic consultancy in the Brazilian market for over 24 years  and a competition economics group listed at “economic 20” by Global Competition Review, outside the US and Europe. She has extensive experience in merger control, cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, as well as related quantitative and econometric analysis, private litigations and arbitration issues.

Miss Tito has also an in-depth knowledge and experience on damage quantification assisting clients in private class actions (her thesis topic) and has great experience in cases involving regulation and competition matters across a variety of industries including telecoms, retail sector, transport and port services, payment systems, construction, education, finance, chemical, oil and gas, and mining, among others. She has provided expert opinion on several confidential clients on the antitrust risks of their proposed mergers and was involved in a big case related case related to the use of big data on competition analysis (as the tie-up Localiza/Hertz – which required big data to help define the market definition and market share estimatives) .

Another topic that Mr Tito has been involved a lot is regarding investigations of abuse of dominant position, in particular abusive price, which has been raised constantly in the current times of covid-19. She emphasizes the importance of economic analysis to show the distinction between competition on the merits and a real anti-competitive abuse. Also, she has a high level of experience in cases of vertical mergers or conglomerates effects, in which economic and competitive analysis demand an evaluation of the economic rationality of the competitive concern under analysis (such as market foreclose, margin squeeze, price discrimination).  

Tendências and Miss Tito have been involved in a number of high-profile merger filings before the Brazilian Antitrust Authority (CADE), such as JohnDeere/Unimil, Carrefour/Makro, Nike/Centauro, Votorantim/Arcelor, Essilor/Luxottica, Unipar/Solvay, Localiza/Hertz, Continental/Veyance and JBS/Bertin, Anhanguera/Kroton, among others important cartel cases (Forex cartel, car wash cartel, cement cartel, etc.). In addition, several regulatory cases with competitive matters have been analyzed by her.

Before joining the firm, Fabiana Tito worked as an economic assistant at Competiton Commission (CMA – UK) and had international experience in antitrust economic consulting. Prior to that, Miss Tito was the general coordinator and economic adviser of the former Secretariat of Economic Law (SDE), at the Ministry of Justice, Brazil, between 2004 and 2007, and was one of the members responsible for implementing quantitative methods in the Brazilian antitrust system.

Miss Tito holds a PhD degree in economic theory at University of São Paulo (Brazil) and a MSc in competition policy and regulation from both Pompeu Fabra University and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, she specialised in economic law at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV-SP) and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of São Paulo. In 2015, she represented and led the team of USP in the international championship of Econometric Games in Amsterdam. Miss Tito was also elected by her peers to the board of IBRAC (2016–2017, 2018–2019), Brazil’s association of antitrust practitioners and she is the IBRAC’s Director of Economics (2020-2021).

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended
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