Between late April 2011 and early May 2011, the Mexican Congress and President Calderón completed the legislative process initiated in April 2010 to pass a bill of amendments to the Mexican Competition Law (the "Reform").
The Reform, effective as of May 11, 2011, is sweeping in scope and historic in its reach. Key aspects of Mexican competition law and policy have been thoroughly revised. Further, the Mexican Competition Commission (Comisión Federal de Competencia, the "Commission") has been vested with broader powers.
Among the most relevant highlights, the Reform provides for:
(1) Dawn Raids. The Reform law facilitates unannounced Dawn Raids for the Commission to review any relevant information.
(2) Individual Amnesty. The Reform makes it clear that individuals as well as companies can obtain amnesty by reporting practices.
(3) Corporate Fines. The Commission is allowed to impose higher fines including, among others, fines of up to 10 percent of a company's taxable income for engaging in absolute monopolistic practices.
(4) Criminal Offenses. Ordering, executing or engaging absolute monopolistic practices is characterized as a criminal offense. The Commission is now allowed to press charges against individuals representing and/or acting on behalf of the offenders. Such individuals could be subject to imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years.
Injunctive Authority. During the course of an investigation, prior to issuing a final ruling, the Commission is allowed to order the suspension of activities or actions that, in its opinion, could constitute the relevant investigated monopolistic practices or prohibited concentrations.
(7) Class Actions. Class actions will now be admissible in respect of competition matters if related to prohibited concentrations or monopolistic practices declared as such by the Commission through an unappealable resolution.
This Alert provides a brief overview of these and other relevant changes to the Mexican Competition Law (the "Competition Law") introduced by the Reform.
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