February 5, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 36

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February 03, 2023

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May 2021 Competition Currents: Mexico

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) has taken two strong positions against recent amendments to laws in the energy sector.

COFECE challenges amendments to Electricity Industry Law

On April 22, 2021, COFECE filed a constitutional controversy before the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico against an amendment of the Electricity Industry Law, arguing the amendment would affect COFECE’s powers by preventing it from guaranteeing competition in the electricity industry. COFECE indicated that under the current constitutional framework, it is essential that certain requirements exist so that the electricity markets can operate under competitive conditions. These requests are: i) the possibility of open and non-discriminatory access for any generator in the electricity networks; ii) that energy dispatch is governed by objective and efficiency criteria, and iii) that the operator – National Energy Control Center – and the regulator – Energy Regulatory Commission – operate independently and impartially, without favoring or granting undue advantages to any participant.

COFECE takes the position that the amendments to the law:

—    Do not respect the rule of open and non-discriminatory access to distribution and transmission networks.

—    Eliminate the criteria of economic dispatch of power plants, granting undue advantages in favor of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

—    Dilute the rule of open access to networks, enabling denials of access without legitimate justification.

—    Allow basic service providers, specifically the CFE, to acquire energy through non-competitive methods, indefinitely expanding the legacy regime, which was meant to be temporary.

COFECE challenges amendments to Hydrocarbons Law

On April 13, 2021, COFECE sent a letter to Mexico’s Congress regarding the amendments to the Hydrocarbons Law. COFECE stated that the amendments would negatively affect the competition process for the value chain of hydrocarbons, petroleum, and petrochemicals. In a public opinion, COFECE said that the amendments would:

—    Discourage entry of companies and reduce supply by distorting permits regulation, since it grants wide discretion to the Ministry of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission to temporarily suspend permits they consider imminent dangers to “national security, energy security or for the national economy” without defining these concepts or providing criteria for their clear application.

—    Generate uncertainty by changing from an automatic approval to a presumptive rejection of a permit when the authority does not resolve a request expeditiously.

—    Reduce the number of competitors by establishing prior verification of storage capacity prior to granting permits. Requiring this verification prior to the granting permits generates a harmful cycle between the lack of said capacity due to the non-existence of permits, resulting in a lack of infrastructure, thus discouraging investments in this area

©2023 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 127

About this Author


Andrew G. Berg Chairs the Global Antitrust Litigation & Competition Regulation Practice and advises clients on litigation, mergers and acquisitions, and other antitrust and competition-related matters before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), state attorneys general, and in private litigation. Andrew's practice includes a full range of antitrust transactional and mergers and acquisitions experience, including Hart-Scott-Rodino filings at the FTC and DOJ, and related merger analysis issues. He also counsels...

Gregory Casas, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Austin, Houston, Energy and Business Litigation Law

Gregory J. Casas is the Administrative Shareholder for the Austin office and focuses his practice on antitrust, complex business litigation, and energy and natural resources law. Greg's antitrust and complex business litigation practices are international in scope. His antitrust practice includes litigating price-fixing, bid-rigging, and market allocation claims, and providing counseling for DOJ/FTC investigations, joint venture formation, mergers and acquisitions, pricing plans, and other contractual relationships. Greg's complex business litigation experience includes...

Calvin Ding Corporate and Compliance Lawyer Greenberg Traurig China

As a U.S. attorney who has worked in China for over decade, Calvin Ding has deep experience in international anti-corruption advisory and investigations, cross-border litigation and e-discovery, as well as compliance with Chinese anti-trust, anti-bribery, and privacy laws.

In the anti-corruption space, Calvin frequently advises companies on comprehensive compliance programs, risk assessments, pre-transaction compliance diligence, government policies, and internal investigations. Having spent several years working on the day-to-day implementation of an FCPA compliance program in...

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Miguel Flores Bernés Antitrust & Competition Attorney Greenberg Traurig Mexico City, Mexico

Miguel Flores Bernés focuses his practice on antitrust and competition issues affecting clients in various industries, including government merger review, investigations of alleged anticompetitive conduct, litigation and counseling. He regularly represents clients before the two Mexican competition authorities: Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica and Instituto Federal de las Telecomunicaciones, and designed and implemented antitrust/competition compliance programs for clients in Mexico.

Prior to joining the firm, Miguel was a partner dedicated to antitrust and competition...

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Víctor Manuel Frías Garcés Commercial Law Attorney Greenberg Traurig Mexico City, Mexico

The practice of Victor Manuel Frías is focused on commercial law, including competition, mergers and acquisitions and arbitration.

On the competition side, Mr. Frías has represented clients in numerous cartel investigations before the Competition Commission in different industries for over 20 years. He frequently represents clients in pre-merger filings. Mr. Frías has been ranked by different publications as one of Mexico’s premier competition attorneys. He often appears before Mexico’s Federal Specialized Courts in Competition and Telecommunications matters.

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