The Federal Economic Competition Commission published for commentary by the public a new draft of the Regulations tothe Federal Economic Competition Law. The new draft Regulations, which may be accessed at www.cfc.gob.mx , establish,among other, that the resolutions, opinions, directives and criteria of the Commission are to be disseminated on theCommission’s internet website, while general criteria must also be published in the Official Journal of the Federation. Inaddition, the draft provides a new regulatory framework for notices in matters concerning economic concentrations(monopolies) in such manner that not only the merging party or the party that acquires control of entities or associations, issuch obligated to provide notice of the concentration, but all the economic agents participating in the transaction, which mayjointly designate a common representative.
The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice holds that local judges, and not arbitral panels, will determine the validity ofarbitration agreements. In a recent decision, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice held that while it is possible to opt out theinvolvement of state courts in a legal conflict, in order to allow such conflict to be submitted to commercial arbitration, thereis an exception when a court exercising jurisdiction over an action alleging nullity of the arbitral compromise declares sucharbitration compromise null, ineffective or unenforceable. The reasoning of the Supreme Court is that, on one hand, one mustnot set aside the existence of proper judicial control over arbitration and, on the other hand, the authority of arbitrators stemsfrom the will of the parties to act autonomously, so that if a lack of consent on the part of the parties to submit to arbitrationexists, the nullity action shall be resolved previously by a court of competent jurisdiction. The decision is relevant as theSupreme Court leaves open the possibility that the parties, even though they have agreed to an “Arbitration Clause” mayappear before a judge in order to resolve in advance the validity, efficacy or enforcement of said clause or compromise. Withthis decision, notwithstanding the fact that the parties may initiate and resolve conflicts through arbitration proceedings, saidarbitration resolution may be superseded by a ruling issued by a presiding judge nullifying the arbitration clause in case any ofthe parties presents such a petition. See decision XXV/2006 Commercial Arbitration. Competency to hear nullity actionsregarding arbitration agreements as set forth in the first paragraph of Article 1424 of the Commerce Code, corresponding tothe judge and not to an arbitration panel.
President Fox decided to heed the council of the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (COFECO) and veto the Law for the Development of Reading and Books that had been approved by the Mexican Congress. Opinions submitted by economists and the COFECO held that the Law, which established a single price for the sale of books to the general public, would ultimately cause an increase in prices for books and reduce incentives for cutting distribution costs, which would ultimately lead to a disincentive to reading and have a contrary effect to that proposed by the much debated law.