Competition Law Reform in Mexico: A Note on Joint Dominance

Victor Pavon-Villamayor, Jul 14, 2010

On April 30, 2010, the Mexican Congress approved a long-awaited set of reforms to the Federal Competition Law (“FCL”).The reform is particularly broad in terms of the general areas of interest covered:

1.     A first set of reforms deals with the enhancement of the transparency through which the Mexican Competition Commission (“MCC”) enforces competition law. In this regard, for example, the reform proposes the implementation of oral hearings as part of the deliberation procedures carried out by the MCC and the compulsory release of MCC’ guidelines in key areas of competition policy as fines, merger control, and the identification of significant market power.

2.     A second set of reforms is related to the simplification of administrative procedures regarding the notification of certain type of mergers and the implementation of a mechanism for the anticipated termination of cases involving allegedly anticompetitive behavior.

3.     A third set of reforms notably affects the day-to-day enforcement of competition policy in Mexico and involves proposals leading to the strengthening of the MCC’s legal powers to implement effective “dawn raids” and also the proposal for the creation of competition-specific tribunals.

4.     The final set of reforms approved by the Congress is, from an economic perspective, of particular interest since it deals with the always-controversial topics of fines and joint dominance.

A general discussion of the approved reform is beyond the scope of this paper; the following discussion focuses exclusively on the discussion of some of the challenges that the implementation of the concept of joint dominance may pose to the Mexican competition regime.