Cofece prefers structural remedies, upfront buyers in merger reviews, agency’s president says

31 March 2017. By Flavia Fortes.

The Mexican competition authority prefers to resolve competition issues in merger reviews with structural remedies, with a buyer for divested assets chosen before the transaction's closing, the agency's president said on Friday.

"We do prefer structural remedies and upfront buyers. … Just as a last resort will we accept post-closing remedies," Alejandra Prieto Palacios said at a conference in Washington.

The Federal Economic Competition Commission, or Cofece, has been facing hurdles with compliance in some of the cases in which it imposed remedies, Palacios said.

"In some cases, they are taking longer than expected. … It has been difficult to impose remedies without gaps or loopholes, and that has been delaying those divestitures," she said.

Palacios said the agency can't discuss remedies or concerns with companies before being notified of a deal. She said that if a company wants a decision from the Mexican agency on a timetable similar to that of other national competition authorities, the company should file its notifications on similar dates.

"Mexico is one of those jurisdictions that [sees the companies] file later," Palacios said.

Cofece has been able to review cases that don't need much analysis on average in about 20 working days, she said, and the agency has cooperated more with other competition agencies, particularly the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.