The Commission updated the Guidelines of the Immunity and Leniency Program.
On January 26th, the Federal Economic Competition Commission (“Commission”) updated the Immunity and Leniency Program Guidelines no. 003/2015, through the Federal Official Gazette («DOF», for its initials in Spanish). Among the updates are the possibility for those who have contributed, facilitated or instigated the execution of monopolistic practices to apply to the Program and increased flexibility to provide information and communicate with the authority, among others. Read more.
The Commission sanctions banks and individuals for collusive practices in the trade of public debt securities.
On January 25th, the Commission sanctioned 7 banks (Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank, Santander, Banamex, Bank of America, BBVA Bancomer and JP Morgan) and 11 traders for colluding in the secondary market for debt securities issued by the Mexican government. The total fine amounts to approximately MXN 35,075,000.00 (about 1.7 million USD). The Commission found evidence that the sanctioned parties entered into 142 anti-competitive agreements to manipulate prices, and establishing the obligation not to distribute government securities in specific transactions between 2010 and 2013. Read more.
Autonomous Constitutional Entities will be protected.
On January 29th, Tatiana Clouthier, Minister of Economy, announced that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had decided not to eliminate the Federal Telecommunications Institute («IFT», for its initials in Spanish) and the Commission to comply with the Mexico-U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Read more.
The Commission issues white paper on the Uber-Cornershop concentration.
On February 3rd, after the merger between Cornershop and the ride-hailing company Uber, approved on December 10th, 2020, the Commission issued an informative document which outlines the most relevant aspects of the merger, among which are the jurisdictional conflicts between the Commission and IFT, the market conditions in which the economic agents participate, among others. Read more.
Supreme Court of Justice issues ruling against electric energy policy.
On February 3rd, the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (“SCJN”), issued a ruling in the case by the Commission on June 22nd, 2020 by considering that the Agreement by which the Policy on Reliability, Security, Continuity and Quality in the National Electric Power System, published on May 15th, 2020 in the DOF by the Ministry of Energy would cause a negative impact on competition and market access in the market for generation and supply of electricity. The SCJN acknowledged the Commission’s argument that this policy would prevent the existence of an efficient electric market by eliminating competition for the Federal Electric Commission («CFE, for its initials in Spanish»). Read more.
Open consultation on the draft regarding Clean Energy Certificates market begins.
On February 8th, the Commission opened to public consultation a preliminary version of the document titled «Transition to Competitive Energy Markets: Clean Energy Certificates in Mexican Industry». The document highlights issues such as barriers to entry of new participants in the electric supply market; the delay in granting generation permits, the lack of expansion of transmission and distribution networks and the unjustified cancellation of Long Term Auctions. Read more.
The Commission sanctions HBC Internacional and Interjet for having filed an extemporaneous merger notice.
On February 8th, the Commission authorized the merger between ABC Aerolíneas (Interjet) and HBC Internacional, a transaction through which HBC Internacional acquired part of Interjet’s capital stock. However, both companies were fined a total of MXN $955,680.00 (about USD $ 48,000) for not notifying the merger prior to its execution. Read more.
The Commission preliminarily detects lack of competition in the maritime transportation of passengers (ferries) in Quintana Roo.
On February 11th, a preliminary extract of file no. DC-001-2020 was published in the DOF, in which the Commission opened an investigation in passenger ferry market in routes to/from the northern Quintana Roo (Isla Mujeres and Cozumel) and related services. The Commission found enough evidence to determine that there is no effective competition in this market, due to the existence of barriers to entry and the presence of an economic agent with substantial market power. Read more.
The Commission subpoenaed economic agents for possible collusive practices in the cellulose-based hygiene product market.
On February 15th, the Commission subpoenaed several companies and individuals after finding evidence of possible collusion in the market for cellulose-based hygiene products, a market which includes diapers, menstrual hygiene products, and others. This indicates the beginning of the trial-like proceeding, through which the parties involved will be able to defend themselves against the accusations made by the Commission. Read more.
The Commission recommends Congress not to approve the initiative to reform the Electric Industry Law.
On February 15th, the Commission sent to the Mexican Congress its opinion regarding the initiative to reform the Electricity Industry Law (“LIE”, for its initials in Spanish) through which it states that if approved in its current form, it would seriously harm competition and market access in the market for generation and distribution of electricity. The potential negative effects on the energy sector that the proposal would cause arise from the exclusive advantages granted to CFE generators in the supply, the elimination of the guarantee of open access to the National Transmission Network and the General Distribution Networks, the acquisition by CFE as a Basic Service Provider of electricity without resorting to competitive mechanisms and the granting to the Energy Regulatory Commission (“CRE, for its initials in Spanish”) of the power to deny permits, among others. Read more.
Federal Telecommunications Institute suspended investigation in digital markets.
On February 23rd, the IFT announced the suspension of its investigation in the mobile operating system, cloud computing and related markets, since the Commission claimed its jurisdiction over such investigation before the specialized court. Read more.
The Commission investigates possible relative monopolistic practices in the mezcal conformity assessment market.
On March 4th, the notice of investigation from a complaint of possible relative monopolistic practices in the mezcal conformity assessment market was published in the DOF. Mezcal conformity assessment services consists of determining compliance with different standards that ensure the quality, technical characteristics and safety of mezcal products. Read more.
Enactment of amendments to the Electric Industry Law.
On March 9th, the amendments to the LIE were published and formally enacted. Notwithstanding efforts from Commission and other international organizations to maintain the status quo as set forth in the LIE, the approved reforms favor acquisition of energy through CFE to the detriment of private companies. Read more.
The Commission investigates the LP gas distribution market for possible collusive practices.
On March 16th, the Commission subpoenaed several economic agents for their possible involvement in collusive practices in the distribution and liquefied petroleum gas. This investigation is of great relevance to the Commission since it involves the activities that took place across multiple states. Read more.
Merger Report 2020 is published.
On March 17th, the Commission published the Merger Report for 2020. This document analyzes, in general terms, the decisions issued in 127 notified concentrations, as well as the economic sectors in which they took place, their economic value and their effects on the markets. Read more.
Federal judge grants suspensions against the amendment to the Electricity Industry Law.
On March 19th, Juan Pablo Gómez Fierro, the second district judge for administrative matters specialized in Economic Competition, Broadcasting and Telecommunications, granted three permanent suspensions with general effects that suspended the effects of the recent amendments to the LIE. Prior to this decision, a provisional suspension of the amendments was issued on a temporary basis; however, through this decision, the effects of the amendments were permanently suspended until the amparo lawsuits filed by several companies conclude or until a competent court reviews the claims filed by the Ministry of Energy. Read more.
The Commission subpoenaed economic agents for possible collusion in the land passenger transportation market.
On March 24th, the Commission subpoenaed several economic agents after finding evidence of their possible participation in price-fixing and market segmentation arrangements in the passenger transportation market in the Central, Central-South, South-Southeast regions and the state of Tamaulipas. This market is of great importance since it facilitates connectivity and mobility in Mexico. Read more.
The Competition and Antitrust Practice of the firm will be pleased to provide any additional information on the topic.
S I N C E R E L Y,