The Federal Economic Competition Commission ("COFECE") investigates public procurement procedures for the acquisition of electoral material and documentation.
On July 7, the Investigating Authority of COFECE announced the initiation of the ex officio investigation IO-003-2021, for the possible occurrence of absolute monopolistic practices in the market of public procurement procedures for the acquisition of electoral material and documentation in national territory. The investigation covers the three levels of government and the entire national territory. The conducts object of the investigation are price manipulation, restriction of supply, market segmentation among competitors or coordination of bids in tenders. Read more.
COFECE investigates the maritime transportation services market for passengers and goods in Quintana Roo
On July 13, the Investigating Authority of the COFECE announced the initiation of the ex officio investigation IO-004-2021, for the possible existence of absolute monopolistic practices in the maritime transportation services market in the state of Quintana Roo. The above, due to the fact that there are indications of the possible existence of agreements between competitors to manipulate prices, restrict or eliminate the offer of the service, or segment the market. The services included in the market are of great importance for the inhabitants and workers of the area, as well as for tourists, since they allow the mobility of people and merchandise between the state and insular areas. Read more.
COFECE warns of risks to competition in the natural gas market as a result of the strategy of the Ministry of Energy.
On July 17, the COFECE issued an opinion warning of the risks derived from the Supply assurance strategy for the optimization of capacity in the Natura National Integrated Gas Transportation and Storage System.l established by the Ministry of Energy ("SENER"). This strategy establishes that users or those interested in receiving natural gas transportation services must prove that they receive the supply from Pemex, CFE, or their affiliates and subsidiaries; and that the provision of the service is ensured through the contracting of transportation capacity in pipelines with any of these state-owned companies. The strategy unduly conditions the non-discriminatory open access to the pipeline system operated by the National Natural Gas Control Center (Cenegas), artificially strengthens the position of the state-owned companies and displaces the marketers. It is expected that this will generate disruptions in the natural gas supply chain as a result of the increase in prices and the deterioration in the supply conditions of this energy source. Read more.
COFECE sanctioned five economic agents for not notifying a concentration.
On August 5, COFECE announced that it sanctioned Banco Invex, S.A. Institución de Banca Múltiple, INVEX Grupo Financiero (in its capacity as trustee of a trust); Banco Invex, S.A. Institución de Banca Múltiple, INVEX Grupo Financiero; Neology Inc.Neology, S. de R.L. de C.V. and an individual for a total of $ 1,884,966 pesos for having closed a transaction different from the concentration authorized by the Plenary of the COFECE. Read more
COFECE summoned an economic agent for its probable responsibility in the commission of relative monopolistic practices in the LP gas market.
On August 17, COFECE announced that it had summoned an economic agent to the proceeding followed in the form of a trial in case DE-004-2018 and its accumulated DE-039-2018, for its probable responsibility in the commission of relative monopolistic practices in the market of importation, commercialization, transportation, storage, distribution and sale to the public of liquefied petroleum gas in national territory, as well as goods and services related to the same. The likely responsible party was charged with the conduct of price discrimination. COFECE declared that this market is relevant because it is part of the energy sector, which, being transversal, impacts multiple economic activities such as food production and the service sector. Read more.
COFECE sanctioned three economic agents for the omission to notify a merger when legally it should have done so.
On August 31, COFECE announced that it sanctioned for a total of Ps. $ 6,941,000 to a financial institution that acted as trustee of the irrevocable issuance, administration and payment trust number F/422, as well as to Concesionaria de Proyectos de Infraestructura, S.A. de C.V. and Marhnos Turismo, S.A. de C.V. for failing to notify a transaction related to the trust when legally it should have been done. After analyzing the transaction, COFECE determined that the operation did not imply risks to competition and free concurrence, and therefore it was authorized. Read more.
The Federal Telecommunications Institute ("IFT") authorized, subject to conditions, the merger of Warner Bros Discovery and Warner Media Mexico.
On August 22, 2022, the Plenary of the IFT resolved to authorize the acquisition of Warner Media's Mexican subsidiaries, as well as its business operations, tangible and intangible assets and the direct-to-consumer distribution of HBO Max in Mexico, by Warner Bros Discovery. The parties submitted a proposal of conditions in order to remedy any risk to competition in the related market for the provision and licensing of audiovisual content to pay television service providers in the children's programming category, in which both parties have an interest. A relevant aspect of this transaction is that both the IFT and the COFECE considered themselves competent in several digital markets involved, so that on November 18, 2021 a competition conflict was initiated, which concluded with the resolution issued in April 2022 by the Second Specialized Collegiate Court by which it determined that the IFT is the authority in matters of economic competition to rule on several markets. Read more.
COFECE fines AT&T and Warner Bros. Discovery for not notifying a merger
On September 8, the COFECE made public the imposition of a fine of $51,573,920 pesos to AT&T and Warner Bros. Discovery, for failing to notify a concentration prior to its implementation. The parties to the transaction carried out an operation that separated a part of Warnermedia's business in Mexico, which created at least market structures and legal relationships that were not considered in the originally notified transaction. Read more.
Mony de Swaan denounces Google and Apple before IFT for alleged relative monopolistic practices
On September 9, Mony de Swan, former president of the now defunct Federal Telecommunications Commission, announced on his social networks a complaint against Google and Apple for alleged tied sales arguing that both companies force that any purchase of digital goods within apps distributed through Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store can only be paid for through Google's and Apple's payment processing systems.
North American competition authorities meet to reaffirm joint work to enforce antitrust laws more rigorously and effectively
On September 13, COFECE announced that a trilateral meeting was held between the competition authorities of the North American countries. The heads of Mexico's COFECE; the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; and Canada's Competition Bureau reaffirmed their willingness to work together to make their antitrust policies and enforcement of their respective laws increasingly rigorous and effective. Read more.
COFECE imposes fines on Infra and Cryoinfra for failing to comply with commitments to restore competition in oxygen, nitrogen and argon markets
On September 14, COFECE announced the imposition of fines of $296,323,915 pesos to Cryoinfra, S.A. de C.V. (Cryoinfra) and Infra, S.A. de C.V. (Infra) for failing to comply with the commitments they assumed to restore competition in the oxygen, nitrogen and industrial liquid argon markets. Said non-compliances consisted of submitting untimely or not submitting the information related to the verification process, as well as not modifying the contracts in force to eliminate the exclusivity clauses or the automatic renewal of the contracts for more than one year; and which were established due to the request for the early closing of the file DE-006-2014 and accumulated, for the possible execution of relative monopolistic practices. Read more.
COFECE suspends deadline to resolve the procedure on barriers to competition in the domestic market for jet fuels due to lack of commissioners' appointment
On September 26, the Plenary of the COFECE announced that it was forced to suspend the procedure on barriers to competition in the domestic jet fuel market due to lack of quorum in the Plenary. The LFCE states that the affirmative vote of at least five commissioners is required to resolve this type of proceedings, and currently only four of seven commissioners are in office. The Political Constitution establishes that it is the responsibility of the head of the Executive Branch to propose to the Senate the persons who will fill the vacancies in the Plenary, for their ratification, which has not happened to date. Read more.
COFECE initiates investigation for relative monopolistic practices in the market for mobile application payments and digital content.
On September 30, COFECE published the notice of initiation of investigation IO-005-2022 for the possible commission of relative monopolistic practices in the development, distribution and payment processing market for mobile applications and digital content, as well as related services. Regarding this investigation, COFECE explained that it analyzes the business models of developers and the mechanisms through which payments are processed in app stores. On the other hand, COFECE pointed out that the research is relevant due to the fact that millions of Mexicans make downloads in mobile app stores, which, in 2021 represented revenues of approximately $ 29,000 million pesos for app developers. Read more.
The lawyers of the Antitrust area of the Firm are at your disposal to answer any questions regarding the content of this document.
A T T E N T A M E N T,
Juan Maria Lopez