SAI Law & Economics

Mexico City

Since its establishment in 1995, SAI provides legal, economic and investment banking advisory services.

Show more

Updates

Competition & Antitrust

What happens if competition authorities violate attorney-client privilege?
Mexico | 09 May 2019

All violations of attorney-client privilege are illegal, but the specific consequences will depend on the nature of the privileged information and the violation's potential effect on the plaintiff's defence strategy. In certain circumstances, a violation of attorney-client privilege can lead to a prohibition on prosecution due to procedural corruption. This article provides a number of practical tips for dealing with a violation of attorney-client privilege by the competition authorities.

COFECE amends recommendations to foster competition in gasoline and diesel markets
Mexico | 21 February 2019

In January 2019 the new government implemented several measures to counter and reduce gasoline and diesel theft, which generated fuel shortages in some of Mexico's main cities. To address these issues, the Federal Economic Competition Commission recently issued a follow-up to its 2016 recommendations which aimed to foster competition in the gasoline and diesel markets in order to address the new administration's concerns.

COFECE approves commitments to restore competition in pharmaceutical market
Mexico | 13 December 2018

In 2017 the Federal Economic Competition Commission initiated an investigation into an unlawful concentration between Marzam – a major pharmaceutical product distributor in Mexico – and its main competitor, which had come to light following the release of the Panama Papers. However, before the investigation concluded, Moench Coöperatif (which had acquired control over Marzam) and one of its shareholders proposed a series of commitments in order to restore free competition in the pharmaceutical market.

Competition authorities celebrate 25th anniversary amidst signing of USMCA
Mexico | 06 December 2018

In 2018 the Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) and the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) celebrated their 25th anniversary. Both authorities have made good progress in carrying out their various functions throughout the years and have been recognised globally for their positive effect on the country's economy. However, it will be interesting to see how the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement contributes to Mexican competition policy once implemented by the FECC and the IFT.

FECC issues Competition Agenda for Public Procurement
Mexico | 30 August 2018

The Federal Competition Commission (FECC) recently issued its Competition Agenda for Public Procurement, in which it presented its findings regarding competition issues that can arise during the public procurement process. In the agenda, the FECC also proposed certain courses of action (both administrative and legislative) to promote effective competition in public procurement.

Legal privilege stands: FECC must guarantee its applicability
Mexico | 10 May 2018

After two years of litigation, the First Collegiate Tribunal on Administrative Matters Specialised in Economic Competition, Broadcasting and Telecommunications has finally issued a final ruling acknowledging that the Federal Economic Competition Commission breached the attorney-client privilege principle during a dawn raid. The tribunal's ruling is relevant, as it demonstrates the possible outcomes of a violation of attorney-client privilege by the antitrust authorities.

FECC launches project to develop guidelines for analysis of collaboration agreements between competitors
Mexico | 22 February 2018

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) recently issued its Annual Working Plan. In it, the FECC recognised that one of its strategic goals is to communicate to economic agents how anti-competitive practices will be investigated and which actions agents may adopt to prevent potential risks. In particular, the FECC declared that one of its goals for 2017 would be to launch a project to develop guidelines for the analysis of collaboration agreements between competitors.

FECC penalises individuals for commissioning absolute monopolistic practice in tortilla market
Mexico | 14 December 2017

Corn tortillas are a fundamental source of nutrition for Mexican families, and artificial price increases have a significant effect on the consumer economy. Given the importance of the corn tortilla market, it has come under the scrutiny of several authorities – for example, the Federal Economic Competition Commission, which recently fined three individuals a total of Ps394,508 for the commission of an absolute monopolistic practice in the market for the production, distribution and marketing of corn tortillas.

FECC releases study on competition barriers relating to expired patent pharmaceutical products
Mexico | 28 September 2017

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) recently released a study on competition in the expired patent drug market, in which it analysed the level of competition in various drug markets following the expiry of an original drug's patent. According to the FECC, several obstacles to competition exist, which ultimately discourage possible new competitors from developing generic versions of drugs and entering the market.

Specialised Competition Court annuls FECC's resolution revoking immunity under leniency programme
Mexico | 29 June 2017

The Specialised Competition Court recently annulled the Federal Economic Competition Commission's decision to revoke immunity granted during an antitrust procedure. The court's decision is relevant, as it sets the criteria for determining to what extent an economic agent can challenge the application of law in a specific case.

FECC initiates first criminal action against probable cartel
Mexico | 11 May 2017

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) investigative authority recently published a press release stating that it had, for the first time, requested the attorney general to initiate criminal action against persons involved in absolute monopolistic practices. This case constitutes an important landmark in Mexico's promotion of competition; the FECC and the attorney general will work closely to set a precedent that will safeguard the credibility of criminal penalties.

FECC will focus on priority sectors in 2017
Mexico | 23 February 2017

The Federal Economic Competition Commission recently issued its Annual Work Programme. The programme's initiatives largely focus on sectors of strategic importance to Mexico's economic and social interests and should encourage economic agents participating in these sectors to avoid monopolistic practices that may harm, impede or restrict competition.

Courts recognise attorney-client privilege in antitrust matter for first time
Mexico | 12 January 2017

The First Collegiate Tribunal on Administrative Matters Specialised in Economic Competition, Broadcasting and Telecommunications recently ordered the admission of a trial against the Federal Economic Competition Commission, whose representatives had obtained confidential documents protected by attorney-client privilege during a dawn raid. This is a landmark judgment, as it recognises attorney-client privilege and the attorney-client work product doctrine in an antitrust context for the first time.

FECC focuses on pharmaceutical sector
Mexico | 08 December 2016

Shortly after its establishment, the Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) sought feedback on where it should focus its attention in regards to enhancing competition. The results indicated that the pharmaceutical sector should be a priority, particularly regarding the sale of medicines to public health institutions and these institutions' IP rights. As such, in 2016 the FECC launched a series of activities relating to the pharmaceutical sector.

FECC revokes immunity granted under leniency programme
Mexico | 22 September 2016

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) recently revoked immunity granted to an undertaking involved in anti-competitive practice on the grounds that it had failed to fulfil its obligation to cooperate fully in all phases of the investigation. This is the first time that the FECC has revoked immunity and therefore sets an important precedent for undertakings that successfully receive immunity under the leniency programme.

MFECC issues recommendations to foster competition in gasoline and diesel market
Mexico | 11 August 2016

As a result of the 2013 constitutional energy amendment, parties outside the Mexican Petroleum franchise model can now sell gasoline and diesel. Further, gasoline and diesel prices will be liberalised after December 2017. In light of this, the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission has issued a series of recommendations to foster competition in the market, taking into account legislative concerns and the market's performance.

FECC recommends measures to promote competition for Mexico City airport slots
Mexico | 07 April 2016

In February 2015 the Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) initiated an investigation to determine whether essential inputs or barriers to competition existed in the air transport services market at Mexico City International Airport. The FECC recently issued its findings from the investigation and proposed several corrective measures. However, certain of these proposed measures raise significant concerns.

FECC recommendations incentivise competition in gasoline and diesel market
Mexico | 03 March 2016

The Federal Economic Competition Commission recently issued a number of recommendations regarding first-hand contracts for the supply and franchise of gasoline and diesel. Although the recommendations are non-binding, they are intended to incentivise competition in the gasoline and diesel supply, sale and delivery markets, generating better conditions for customers and paving the way for the permanent liberation of the markets in 2018.

FECC issues guidelines on exchange of information between competitors
Mexico | 04 February 2016

Following a public consultation, the Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) recently issued guidelines on the exchange of information between economic agents. The guidelines aim to clarify the elements that the FECC will consider when evaluating information exchanges and allow economic agents to determine with greater certainty whether their exchanges of information are permissible.

FTI finds Televisa not dominant in pay television market
Mexico | 19 November 2015

Following an investigation of the pay television market in 2,124 municipalities across Mexico, the plenum of the Federal Telecommunications Institute has ruled that Televisa is not a dominant agent in any of the relevant markets. However, the resolution – adopted with two of the seven commissioners dissenting – has generated much controversy among industry participants and academics.

Mexico City's new transport regulation inhibits competition
Mexico | 20 August 2015

Since transportation network companies such as Uber and Cabify began operating in Mexico City, much controversy has arisen regarding their regulation. In response, the Mexico City government has issued a new regulation governing how such companies provide their services. However, it may impose unnecessary limitations which could hinder competition between taxis and these companies.

Conditions imposed in pre-merger review may limit domestic producer rights
Mexico | 13 August 2015

The Federal Economic Competition Commission has approved a merger on the condition that the acquiring company abstain from requesting anti-dumping proceedings and provide no assistance or information within the framework of an anti-dumping investigation in the relevant market for 10 years. It is worth examining whether such measures were justified and strictly necessary.

FECC issues new technical criteria to measure market concentration
Mexico | 11 June 2015

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) recently published new technical criteria for the estimation and application of a quantitative index to measure market concentration. The technical criteria were issued after a public consultation and reflect the accumulated experience of the FECC and international best practices.

FECC investigates competition barriers at Mexico City International Airport
Mexico | 26 March 2015

The Federal Economic Competition Commission recently initiated an investigation into the market for air transport services relating to landing and take-off slots at Mexico City International Airport. The purpose of the investigation is to determine the existence of alleged barriers to competition or essential inputs with potential anti-competitive effects.

Commission strives to close regulatory gap concerning competitor collaborations
Mexico | 26 February 2015

The Federal Economic Competition Commission recently released its Strategic Work Plan 2015. The plan addresses one of the main issues facing antitrust regulation in Mexico: collaborations among competitors. It specifically commits to drafting, submitting to public consultation and ultimately issuing guidelines setting out the commission's criteria for assessing collaborations among competitors.

New role for FECC in energy matters
Mexico | 04 December 2014

Earlier in 2014 several laws were enacted or modified in order to address the new legal energy framework introduced by the 2013 constitutional reform. As a consequence of the reform, the Federal Economic Competition Commission is expected to have a more active role in the energy sector, in order to ensure that private parties can compete fairly with the state-owned operators.

Competition matters under new telecoms law
Mexico | 11 September 2014

The new Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law recently entered into force, introducing significant changes in relation to competition in the telecoms and broadcasting sectors. The new law recognises the Federal Telecommunications Institute as the authority governing competition in these sectors, with significant investigative and enforcement powers.

The new Federal Law on Economic Competition
Mexico | 19 June 2014

The new Federal Law on Economic Competition will soon enter into force. The new competition framework maintains the traditional faculties of any competition authority, but also grants important incremental powers and introduces new procedures and penalties, which will lead to additional regulatory costs and risks for regulated agents. Companies should thus take appropriate measures to avoid violations of the new framework.

FECC issues strategic plan for 2014 to 2017
Mexico | 27 February 2014

The newly created Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) recently issued its strategic plan for 2014 to 2017, in which the FECC's commissioners and principal officers established the entity's mission, vision, values, objectives and strategic lines of investigation. The FECC considers that there are major competition-related challenges to resolve, specifically targeting several sectors.

Major energy reform yields competition opportunities
Mexico | 30 January 2014

After a fast legislative process, major reform to the constitutional framework for energy activities will soon become effective. These activities can now be carried out by private parties, including foreign investors. The reform will accordingly have a significant impact on competition matters, as the regulatory entry barriers to this sector have been eliminated to some extent.

FECC issues first major resolutions in merger cases
Mexico | 12 December 2013

After a two-month transition period, the new Federal Economic Competition Commission has resolved two major appeal proceedings inherited from the former competition agency that outline its revision criteria for future cases. The proceedings concerned the Sherwin Williams/Comex merger and the Cinemex/Cinemark merger.

New competition regulatory agencies incorporated
Mexico | 03 October 2013

Recent constitutional amendments provide for the creation of two new entities tasked with monitoring competition concerns – the Federal Economic Competition Commission (FECC) and the Federal Telecommunications Institute (FTI), both to be governed by seven commissioners. The Senate recently ratified six of the seven FECC commissioner candidates chosen by the president and all seven of his chosen FTI commissioner candidates.

Congress enacts constitutional amendments affecting competition
Mexico | 18 July 2013

Congress recently enacted amendments to the the competition regulatory framework in Mexico, which substantially overhaul the institutional structure of the Federal Competition Commission. Several significant modifications to the original proposals were made before passage. However, the future of proceedings pending before the commission is uncertain, due to unclear wording in the amendments.

Proposed financial reform and its impact on competition policy
Mexico | 20 June 2013

A legislative proposal to amend the financial regulatory framework in Mexico was recently submitted to Congress. The amendment would have significant effects on competition policy in the financial sector; among other things, it provides for the Federal Competition Commission to monitor the sector and evaluate its competition conditions with the aim of making recommendations to financial authorities.

Proposed constitutional amendments overhaul Federal Competition Commission
Mexico | 04 April 2013

A proposal was recently submitted to Congress that provides for major changes to the institutional structure of the Federal Competition Commission. Among other things, the proposal calls for the creation of a new commission as a constitutional and autonomous entity, with new enforcement powers and operational guidelines. However, there is concern that the proposed amendments could bring considerable complications.

FCC closes investigation into anti-competitive conduct in airport slot allocation
Mexico | 21 February 2013

In 2010 the Federal Competition Commission (FCC) commenced an investigation concerning allegations of relative monopolistic practices – specifically, denial of service and discrimination – in the provision of both airport and complementary services and slot allocation by Mexico City International Airport. However, the FCC recently issued a resolution closing the case due to lack of sufficient evidence.

Government officials not beyond Federal Competition Commission's reach
Mexico | 13 December 2012

In three separate cases the Federal Competition Commission (FCC) has exercised its investigative and punitive powers over government officials involved in anti-competitive practices. These decisions have confirmed the reach of the FCC's authority and reinforced the precedent that government officials are not exempt from complying with competition laws due to their status as public servants.

A change of paradigm in amparo proceedings
Mexico | 11 October 2012

The Mexican courts recently admitted an unprecedented amparo motion by a civil rights association, aiming to preserve the rights of freedom of speech and information, against a merger involving Grupo Televisa and GSF Telecom Holdings. This amparo motion is the first of its kind and sets a precedent in determining legal standing under Mexican law.

FCC accepts commitments by Telcel
Mexico | 05 July 2012

A year after imposing the biggest fine in Mexican competition history on Telcel, the Federal Competition Commission stated that it would not impose liability on the mobile phone company, finding its proposal of commitments to be "suitable and economically viable". The decision raises a number of questions; a potential court challenge might yet provide the answers.

Dawn raids and dangerous uncertainties
Mexico | 26 April 2012

Amendments to the Federal Law on Economic Competition in 2011 enhanced the Federal Competition Commission's powers to conduct inspection visits. Companies should ensure that they understand the scope of these powers and should prepare for the possibility of dawn raids. However, they should also be aware of significant and worrying questions that these enhanced powers may raise in practice.

Divided reactions to OECD's warning on telecommunications sector
Mexico | 15 March 2012

The Federal Competition Commission has recently been involved in decisions on some of Mexico's most prominent cases involving media and telecommunications. However, a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reveals the extent of Mexico' s competition problems in the sector and the potential cost of inaction.

2011: the competition year in review
Mexico | 15 December 2011

In May 2011 amendments to the Federal Law on Economic Competition entered into force. The aim was to make Mexican competition legislation more effective. A review of the Federal Competition Commission's activities in the fields of merger review, cartels and abuse of dominance, as well as significant pronouncements from the Supreme Court, offers an insight into the shape of competition enforcement in future.

Supreme Court on challenges to FCC determinations
Mexico | 13 October 2011

The Supreme Court has issued a significant ruling on legal standing to challenge a Federal Competition Commission (FCC) declaration that an economic agent is dominant in a particular market. The case concerned Telmex - one of the biggest players in the telecommunications sector - and its motions for reconsideration of the FCC's finding that it had substantial market power in certain markets.

New procedure for collective claims under competition law
Mexico | 21 July 2011

Amendments to the Law on Economic Competition seek to allow for collective actions for damages in competition matters. However, it remains unclear whether different standards apply for bringing individual actions and collective actions. Moreover, as a final Federal Competition Commission resolution is required for collective actions, will the deadline for bringing an action be suspended until a resolution becomes final?

Amendments stress need for effective implementation
Mexico | 02 June 2011

After a long debate Congress has approved amendments to Mexico's competition regime. The changes include new exceptions to the obligation to obtain merger clearance, provisions on early termination of proceedings and greater powers for the Federal Competition Commission to investigate and penalise breaches of the law.