BASHAM NEWS

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

Mexico City, Mexico, November 23, 2022

On November 23, 2022, the Federal Antitrust Commission ("COFECE") published the initiation of the investigation with file number IEBC-004-2022, for possible barriers to competition and essential inputs in the corn distribution and commercialization markets, as well as the production, 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 production of tortillas, which are an indispensable part of the daily diet of Mexicans since about 98.6% of the population consumes them and are included in the basic food basket.

In accordance with the Federal Antitrust Law, once the investigation is concluded and if sufficient elements are found to determine the existence of barriers to competition and free competition, COFECE may: (i) order the elimination of barriers that unduly affect the competition process and in case of non-compliance, impose a sanction of up to 10% of the economic agent's revenues, (ii) issue recommendations to the 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 written information, conduct verification visits, as well as summon economic agents that participate or have a relationship with such market to testify.