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COFECE initiates investigation for possible barriers to competition and essential inputs in the corn and corn flour markets.

Mexico, November 23rd, 2022

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (“COFECE” for its acronym in Spanish), published on November 23, 2022, the initiation of the investigation under file number IEBC-004-2022, for possible barriers to competition and essential inputs in the markets for the distribution and commercialization of corn, as well as the manufacturing, distribution and commercialization of corn flour and related services in Mexico.

Regarding this investigation, COFECE explained that this market is particularly important because corn and corn flour are necessary inputs for the manufacturing of tortillas, which are an indispensable part of the daily diet of Mexicans, given the fact that around 98.6% of the population consumes them and they are included in the food basket.

In accordance with the Federal Economic Competition Law, once the investigation is concluded and if sufficient elements are found to determine the existence of barriers to competition, COFECE may: (i) order the elimination of barriers that unduly affect the competition process and in case of non-compliance, impose a fine up to 10% of the revenues of the economic agent, (ii) issue recommendations to public authorities, (iii) determine the existence of essential inputs and, if applicable, issue guidelines for their regulation, and (iv) order the divestiture of assets, rights, social parts or shares.

In this investigation, COFECE may request information in writing, conduct verification visits, as well as summon economic agents that participate or have any relationship with such market to testify.