SAI Law & Economics updates

Amparo actions against CENACE act's impact on competition in electricity industry
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 08 October 2020

Many renewable energy investors have challenged the National Energy Control Centre (CENACE) act before the constitutional courts through various amparo actions. Moreover, the Federal Economic Competition Commission has held that the CENACE act affects competition in the electricity industry by indirectly denying solar and wind power plants the possibility of beginning operations and favouring the dispatch of energy from conventional power plants.

COFECE penalises cartel in public procurement for health sector: integral services for laboratory studies and blood bank
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 27 August 2020

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) recently issued a press release informing that 11 companies and 14 individuals had established a non-aggression pact in order to distribute items from seven tenders previously called by the Mexican Institute of Social Security and the Institute of Security and Social Services of State Workers. The applicable fine was the highest that COFECE has imposed in the past 10 years for cases relating to public procurement in the health sector.

Three for one: austerity initiative to blend regulatory and antitrust institutions
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 16 July 2020

Senator Ricardo Monreal of the National Regeneration Party recently presented a reform initiative to amend Articles 27 and 28 of the Constitution to join (and extinguish) three state organs which he believes share certain powers and competencies – namely, the Federal Economic Competition Commission, the Federal Telecommunications Institute and the Energy Regulatory Commission. The resulting organ would be the National Institute of Markets and Competition for Welfare.

COFECE deemed to have jurisdiction to review Uber-Cornershop merger
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 25 June 2020

In November 2019 the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) and the Federal Telecommunications Institute asked the First Collegiate Court Specialised in Economic Competition, Broadcasting and Telecommunications to determine which authority has jurisdiction to review the merger of Uber and Cornershop. After a long procedure and delays owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the specialised court recently ruled in favour of COFECE.

COVID-19 pandemic: economic competition considerations
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 16 April 2020

Extraordinary measures are being taken by companies and governmental authorities to avoid aggravating the current situation and adapt quickly to the new operational and regulatory challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, economic competition law is still in force. This article discusses a series of considerations that companies should keep in mind to prevent potential competition risks relating to their behaviour or practices during the pandemic.

Competition considerations between entities of same corporate group during bidding process
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 02 April 2020

The Federal Economic Competition Commission's (COFECE's) board of commissioners recently fined two polyethylene glove providers for price fixing and bid rigging in the health sector. According to COFECE's resolution, the lack of competition in the bids for polyethylene gloves prevented lower acquisition prices, which affected the Mexican budget by approximately Ps42.28 million (approximately $1.7 million).

Institutional cooperation to address competition challenges of digital economy
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 12 December 2019

The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) has exclusive jurisdiction over cases, procurement and advocacy in competition matters relating to the broadcasting and telecoms sectors, while the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) has jurisdiction in competition matters regarding all other sectors. While this allocation of jurisdiction between the IFT and the COFECE may appear straightforward, in reality, there is no clear-cut division of powers with regard to digital markets.

Joint participation in public procurement processes: the Mexican paradox
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 01 August 2019

In Mexico, some public institutions consolidate the procurement requirements of their entities into one public tender to save costs and increase efficiency. As such, joint propositions among competitors may be the solution for companies that wish to participate in such processes where they involve substantial volumes of goods. However, there are no official guidelines or criteria on how joint propositions between competitors should be negotiated or implemented so that they do not pose a risk to competition.

COFECE rejects Walmart's acquisition of Cornershop
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 27 June 2019

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) recently issued a press release announcing that it had rejected Walmart's proposal to acquire Cornershop in light of the potential risks that it posed to competition and free market access. This case is significant as it is the first merger review case in which the COFECE has analysed vertical concentrations involving digital platforms.

What happens if competition authorities violate attorney-client privilege?
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 09 May 2019

All violations of attorney-client privilege are illegal, but the specific consequences will depend on the nature of the privileged information and the violation's potential effect on the plaintiff's defence strategy. In certain circumstances, a violation of attorney-client privilege can lead to a prohibition on prosecution due to procedural corruption. This article provides a number of practical tips for dealing with a violation of attorney-client privilege by the competition authorities.

COFECE amends recommendations to foster competition in gasoline and diesel markets
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 21 February 2019

In January 2019 the new government implemented several measures to counter and reduce gasoline and diesel theft, which generated fuel shortages in some of Mexico's main cities. To address these issues, the Federal Economic Competition Commission recently issued a follow-up to its 2016 recommendations which aimed to foster competition in the gasoline and diesel markets in order to address the new administration's concerns.

COFECE approves commitments to restore competition in pharmaceutical market
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 13 December 2018

In 2017 the Federal Economic Competition Commission initiated an investigation into an unlawful concentration between Marzam – a major pharmaceutical product distributor in Mexico – and its main competitor, which had come to light following the release of the Panama Papers. However, before the investigation concluded, Moench Coöperatif (which had acquired control over Marzam) and one of its shareholders proposed a series of commitments in order to restore free competition in the pharmaceutical market.

Competition authorities celebrate 25th anniversary amidst signing of USMCA
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 06 December 2018

In 2018 the Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) and the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) celebrated their 25th anniversary. Both authorities have made good progress in carrying out their various functions throughout the years and have been recognised globally for their positive effect on the country's economy. However, it will be interesting to see how the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement contributes to Mexican competition policy once implemented by the FECC and the IFT.

FECC issues Competition Agenda for Public Procurement
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 30 August 2018

The Federal Competition Commission (FECC) recently issued its Competition Agenda for Public Procurement, in which it presented its findings regarding competition issues that can arise during the public procurement process. In the agenda, the FECC also proposed certain courses of action (both administrative and legislative) to promote effective competition in public procurement.

Legal privilege stands: FECC must guarantee its applicability
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 10 May 2018

After two years of litigation, the First Collegiate Tribunal on Administrative Matters Specialised in Economic Competition, Broadcasting and Telecommunications has finally issued a final ruling acknowledging that the Federal Economic Competition Commission breached the attorney-client privilege principle during a dawn raid. The tribunal's ruling is relevant, as it demonstrates the possible outcomes of a violation of attorney-client privilege by the antitrust authorities.

FECC launches project to develop guidelines for analysis of collaboration agreements between competitors
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 22 February 2018

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) recently issued its Annual Working Plan. In it, the FECC recognised that one of its strategic goals is to communicate to economic agents how anti-competitive practices will be investigated and which actions agents may adopt to prevent potential risks. In particular, the FECC declared that one of its goals for 2017 would be to launch a project to develop guidelines for the analysis of collaboration agreements between competitors.

FECC penalises individuals for commissioning absolute monopolistic practice in tortilla market
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 14 December 2017

Corn tortillas are a fundamental source of nutrition for Mexican families, and artificial price increases have a significant effect on the consumer economy. Given the importance of the corn tortilla market, it has come under the scrutiny of several authorities – for example, the Federal Economic Competition Commission, which recently fined three individuals a total of Ps394,508 for the commission of an absolute monopolistic practice in the market for the production, distribution and marketing of corn tortillas.

FECC releases study on competition barriers relating to expired patent pharmaceutical products
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 28 September 2017

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) recently released a study on competition in the expired patent drug market, in which it analysed the level of competition in various drug markets following the expiry of an original drug's patent. According to the FECC, several obstacles to competition exist, which ultimately discourage possible new competitors from developing generic versions of drugs and entering the market.

Specialised Competition Court annuls FECC's resolution revoking immunity under leniency programme
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 29 June 2017

The Specialised Competition Court recently annulled the Federal Economic Competition Commission's decision to revoke immunity granted during an antitrust procedure. The court's decision is relevant, as it sets the criteria for determining to what extent an economic agent can challenge the application of law in a specific case.

FECC initiates first criminal action against probable cartel
SAI Law & Economics
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Mexico
  • 11 May 2017

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) investigative authority recently published a press release stating that it had, for the first time, requested the attorney general to initiate criminal action against persons involved in absolute monopolistic practices. This case constitutes an important landmark in Mexico's promotion of competition; the FECC and the attorney general will work closely to set a precedent that will safeguard the credibility of criminal penalties.

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