Mexico's Major Antitrust Reforms

12 August 2011 Publication
Authors: Marco Antonio Najera Martinez

Latin Business Chronicle

An overview of Mexico’s major antitrust reforms, including increased sanctions and fines for violators.

Amendments to the Federal Antitrust Law, to the Federal Criminal Code and to the Code of Federal Procedures, among others, were recently approved in Mexico. Passage of the amendments constitutes major revisions to the legal framework behind antitrust and competition in Mexico and is certainly one of the most large-scale antitrust reforms ever approved in the country. The intent is to enhance the Federal Competition Commission’s (or COFECO, due to its Spanish acronym) facilitation of enforcement and to better prevent disorders caused by monopolistic practices. The changes are similar to those existing in other countries that lead in antitrust legislation. Other goals are to improve transparency and procedural rights benefitting economic agents. Here we review the most far-reaching antitrust amendments.

FELONIES FOR PARTICIPATING IN CARTELS

Participating in certain absolute monopolistic practices, i.e., in agreements or contracts among competitors for the purpose of: (i) fixing, raising or manipulating the selling or purchase price of goods or services; (ii) setting forth obligations not to produce, distribute, market nor acquire goods or services but rather a limited or restricted amount; (iii) dividing or assigning market segments by clients, suppliers, periods of time or geographic areas; and (iv) agreeing upon or coordinating bidding offers or the abstention to participate in bids, are now considered crimes.

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