New Criteria and Guidance on Mexican Economic Competition

April 4, 2011
New Criteria and Guidance on Mexican Economic Competition

On April 4, 2011 on the same date as the “Day of Competition 2011” the Mexican Federal Competition Commission(Comisión Federal de Competencia or COFECO) published new reference documents, guides and criteria regardingeconomic competition. The new documents if published at such event are the following: (i) referenced documentconcerning the definition of “relevant markets”; (ii) reference document concerning the determination of “substantialpower in the market”; (iii) guide for providing notice of economic concentration; and (iv) draft of technical criteria forthe imposition of fines in economic competition matters. Prior to issuing these documents, the COFECO had alreadyprepared and published a guide concerning the immunity and sanctions reduction program, a guide for compliance byassociations, business chambers and professional associations, as well as a reference document for the taking ofsurveys; so that these new documents become part of a series of action that have been undertaken by COFECO for thepurpose of making its activities more transparent and achieving greater certainty with respect to its resolutions, all inbenefit of those economic parties who are regulated. These measures are based on the results of public consultationson transparency carried out between February and April 2010, which had as its primary result the stated interest ofeconomic parties in the authorities preparing and publishing these types of guides, criteria and instructions, followingthe tendency of competition agencies acting in recognized countries in the world, such as the United States ofAmerican and United Kingdom. The addition to these documents and taking as a reference the results obtainedthrough the public consultation process, the COFECO has also improved its database for providing public access byinternet to all cases in process and the history of resolutions it has taken. The authorities have also implementedmodifications in the format of their resolutions in order to enable parties to see how the commissioners voted and howthe measures tending to equalize access and protection of confidentiality and information within their files have beenimplemented. It is worth noting that the COFECO has stated that in the near future it will publish other documentsadding to those referred to above, with the purpose of completing the actions proposed to improve its regulatorymandate. Among the documents that are expected and pending publication is one regarding collaboration betweencompetitors and vertical market restrictions. Finally, note that none of these documents creates legal rights orobligations, but instead are only a source of reference or guide not intended to substitute the text of the applicablecompetition law, and thus such simply explain and add to the available information for the benefit of economicparties. Therefore, under special circumstances merited in a case, the COFECO would be completely authorized todepart from the contents of such documents, so long as the COFECO’s action is based expressly on provisions of theapplicable competition law. At CCN, we are available to discuss any questions one might have regarding these topics and we also inform our readers that the above documents and recently published guides may be consulted directly atthe webpage of the COFECO at:

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