On October 31, 2019, COFECE published in the Federal Official Gazette an official Notice that initiated an investigation to determine if there are barriers to competition and of essential facilities in the aircraft fuel market, including the production, importation, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing, retail and related services (IEBC-002-2019) in Mexico.
Please note that the energy sector –including fuels– is a high-priority for COFECE because of the transversal impact it has on the development of the rest of the country's economic sectors. COFECE has committed to achieving an efficient and competitive fuels market: (a) First in 2016 by publishing a document that pinpointed a series of obstacles that may affect the transition to a more competitive fuels market; and (b) Later in early 2018, when it issued a formal opinion on the implications of the exclusivity that the Mexican airports had to maintain in favor of Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA), as the sole provider of fuel storage, distribution and supply services to air carriers from 1979 to mid-2018 (when the market finally opened up to more competitors).
COFECE has up to 120 business days –which may be extended twice for the same term– to investigate the possible existence of barriers to competition and of essential facilities in the aircraft fuels market (the "Investigation Period"). Depending on the evidence retrieved during the Investigation Period, COFECE may resolve to: (i) Order the corresponding company to eliminate the barriers that unduly affect competition in the market; (ii) Issue recommendations to public authorities, in order to amend legal provisions and regulations that prevent or distort competition in a given market; (iii) Establish guidelines that regulate access to the identified essential facilities; and (iv) Order the divestiture of assets, rights, social interests or shares of the involved company to eliminate anticompetitive effects, provided that other corrective measures were not sufficient to address the identified competition issue.
At Baker McKenzie we are at your service to support in any matter related to this publication, and with any other related matter with the above.