COFECE investigates public procurement procedures regarding information and communication technology services.

Mexico, November 1st, 2022.

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (“COFECE” for its acronym in Spanish), published on October 27, 2022, the initiation of investigation no. IO-002-2022 for the possible execution of absolute monopolistic practices (collusive conducts), in the market of services related to credit card (CC) transactions in the modality of payments deferred to interest-free months (IFM) in the national territory.

Regarding this investigation, COFECE explained that a CC is a product that a financial institution offers to a user called cardholder, through which he/she can make payments for products and services using a line of credit. Payments for such purchases can be made on the next cut-off date of the CC, or may be deferred to IFM (usually 6, 12, 18 or 24 months). In order to carry out such transactions, there must be payment systems that allow them, physical stores with point-of-sale or virtual terminals that offer the option of purchasing under this modality, financial institutions that offer credit lines and an associated card, payment clearing and settlement services, among others that make IFM purchases possible. This market is important because it represented 5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2022.

COFECE may require economic agents in the relevant market to provide documents or information or conduct on-site inspections. In such cases, the Federal Economic Competition Law (“FECL”) may compel such economic agents to cooperate with the FECC and provide it with the requested information.

The announcement of the investigation aims to provide any interested economic agents with the opportunity of cooperating and providing any information it deems appropriate with relation to the investigated conduct or circumstances which may be contrary to the FECL. Also, those who have participated in such conduct may be entitled to the benefits of the Immunity and Reduction of Sanctions Program. Therefore, any person or company involved in the relevant market that considers that it may have been affected will have the opportunity to contribute to the COFECE’s investigation.