The digital market is expanding worldwide and Mexico is no exception. A recent study showed a 59% growth in e-commerce in Mexico from 2014 to 2015. However, this growth has been inconsistent across the country, which may be due to its underdeveloped internet coverage. Despite this, the effect that e-commerce has had on the Mexican economy is not insignificant. It is therefore necessary to monitor the effect that it has and will have on competition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.