In 2016 Joshua Dean Nelson commenced arbitration against Mexico on behalf of Telefacil México, SA de CV and himself under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). According to Nelson, the Federal Telecommunications Institute had prevented him from participating in the telecoms market by issuing measures that he alleged violated Chapter 11 of NAFTA. However, the tribunal recently rejected the claims and held that Telefacil owed Mexico $2.05 million in arbitration costs.
Since 11 March 2020 dispute resolution in Mexico has been significantly affected due to the COVID-19 crisis. In such exceptional circumstances, alternative dispute resolution has taken on greater importance, as it offers parties the chance to continue proceedings (with restrictions) as efficiently as possible without having to wait for the judicial branch to resume operations.
Over the past three decades, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has increased in popularity to the point that most parties appear to prefer it to having the courts resolve their conflicts. The benefits of ADR are flexibility, reduced costs and the opportunity to actively participate in the resolution of the dispute. However, these benefits depend on the parties voluntarily honouring the commitments adopted during the ADR proceedings.
Precautionary measures are an essential way in which to preserve assets that are subject to dispute or ensure that a final award is enforceable. Arbitration offers many advantages over judicial proceedings. However, in practice, such measures need to be issued more quickly in order to achieve the objectives for which they are designed. Notably, under Mexican law, such measures are issued much faster and more effectively than those issued under the International Chamber of Commerce arbitration rules.
The Mexican courts have issued several precedents to eradicate the existence of usury, allowing judges to discretionally reduce interest rates agreed by the parties. However, some of these precedents contradict each other as to whether the usury prohibition applies to default interest. As such, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court recently issued a decision to clarify these inconsistencies.
Digital collection (CoDi) is the latest electronic payment method developed by the Mexican Central Bank, designed to reduce the use of cash and promote competition, while incorporating larger sections of the population into the formal financial sector. It seems that Mexico is moving forward in financial technologies, such as CoDi, and using these developments to promote larger inclusion, competition and transparency for every sector in the country.
Under Mexican commercial regulations, contracting parties have traditionally been free to determine in their corresponding agreement the jurisdiction in which disputes must be resolved. However, a new binding precedent from the Supreme Court challenges this traditional approach with regard to banking adhesion contracts and is a good example of how Mexico is advancing its consumer protection regulations.
In March 2018 the Fintech Law, which aims to mitigate the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, was published in the Federal Official Gazette. Subsequently, in January 2019 the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement published draft amendments to the anti-money laundering rules which apply to the traditional banking industry in order to incorporate the new concepts created by the Fintech Law.
The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit recently published a resolution in the Official Gazette modifying the general regulations that apply to banks. The resolution responds to the need to strengthen the regulatory framework applicable to banks, particularly with regard to cybersecurity and technological infrastructure. It also aims to guarantee the confidentiality, integrity and availability of customer information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mexico has recently issued a wide range of regulations to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and protect public health. Notably, the Federal Health Ministry and the Mexican Social Security Institute have issued special restrictions and recommendations with regard to the return to work of individuals classified as part of vulnerable groups, who, due to pre-existing conditions or illnesses, are at a greater risk of complications or even death if they contract COVID-19.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect every aspect of life, employers must ensure that they are up to date with their obligations towards employees. This article answers employers' FAQs, including with regard to the financial support available to employees, the measures introduced to facilitate remote working, the processes for implementing dismissals during the pandemic and employers' obligations in terms of health and safety during the return to work.
As a result of the negotiations of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the amendment to the Constitution on 1 May 2019, a decree amending, supplementing and derogating from several provisions of the Federal Labour Law on labour justice, freedom of association and collective bargaining was published in the Federal Official Gazette. This article highlights changes that employers should expect to come into force in 2020.
Green Net Tax Profit Accounts (CUFINs) were established in 2016 as a double tax incentive. The effect of a Green CUFIN is deferral of income tax payment at the corporate level while the shareholders anticipate the benefits of their participation in the entity. This is a valuable incentive for power generation companies and its requirements can be easily complied with through an adequate corporate structure.
The new federal government has taken many actions in an effort to prioritise the Federal Commission of Electricity, Mexico's state-owned power company, over other participants in the open electricity market implemented by the 2013 to 2014 energy reform. Now, despite multiple promises from the president that Mexico's energy legislation would not be reformed, his party has announced a legislative plan to embark on a new energy reform.
Due to the excessive exploitation of finite resources such as coal and oil, alternative sources of renewable energy are required to satisfy the high demand for energy. However, the creation and use of alternative sources of renewable energy require significant investment, which has become a major obstacle. Against this background, crowdfunding platforms have become an excellent financing option to develop projects focused on generating alternative energy.
The Ministry of Energy recently published the Policy of Reliability, Security, Continuity and Quality of the National Electric System, a regulation which tacitly incorporates competition barriers for intermittent clean energy power plants. The policy allegedly aims to maintain the electricity supply and minimise risks which could prevent final users' electricity demands being met. However, it does not provide sufficient technical grounds to justify said objectives.