What are you looking for?
What do we do in the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission or COFECE?
Do you know what the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission does?
Did you know that economic competition is a part of your rights and obligations as a professional, salesperson or business owner, and that you must comply with the Federal Economic Competition Law?
What is competition?
Competition is the rivalry among companies that participate in the same market. The Competition gives companies incentives to become more efficient and to attract a greater number of consumers, when satisfying their needs with better conditions, such as low prices, added-value services, a greater variety of products, closeness, availability, specialization, and innovation.
Continuous efficiencies create a virtuous cycle that brings benefits for all.
We are an autonomous constitutional body, and our mandate is established in Article 28 of the Mexican Constitution. We are responsible of overseeing, promoting and guaranteeing competition and free market access in Mexico for the efficient functioning of markets to the benefit of consumers.
This means, that we must work to ensure that conditions are in place so that companies, stores, businesses, and professionals can compete to win the preference of consumers. This benefits us all, because companies improve the quality of their products and services, reduce costs to sell their products at lower prices, and provide higher-quality services, so consumers can choose between options that better fulfill their needs.
To fulfill our mandate, we are organized in different units:
A Board, consisting of seven Commissioners, who are responsible, among other aspects, of deciding on the Commission’s cases.
An Investigative Authority, that investigates possible anticompetitive conducts, as well as competition conditions in markets or, the existence of possible barriers to competition.
A Technical Secretariat, that among other activities, analyzes concentrations, conducts the trial-like procedure in which alleged offenders have the right to argue in their favor and submit evidence related to the allegations presented against them.
A Planning, Institutional Relations and International Affairs Unit that carries out the advocacy activities of the Commission, the strategic planning and institutional evaluation, as well as coordinates COFECE’s institutional relations with national and international institutions and organizations.
An Internal Comptroller that oversees that COFECE’s officials carry out their duties in strict accordance with the law.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I apply for a job at COFECE?
To find out more visit the Jobs Board (in Spanish) at COFECE’s website. All our calls are public and open.
- What is the difference between the work carried out by COFECE and the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT)?
COFECE promotes, protects, and guarantees competition in all markets, except for those in the broadcasting and telecommunications sector, which are the exclusive responsibility of the IFT.
- What is the difference between the work carried out by COFECE and the Office of the Federal Attorney’s Office of Consumer Protection (PROFECO)?
COFECE monitors and promotes competition among companies to foster greater variety, more quality, and better prices of goods and services in the markets.
On the other hand, PROFECO ensures that providers and businesses do not abuse consumers when selling their products and services.
- Why is the Commission not sanctioning large companies and monopolies?
COFECE does not sanction companies based on their size, but on abuses of market power to displace or block the entry of competitors, or agreements aimed at, for example, manipulating prices, allocating the market, restricting the supply or colluding to manipulate public tenders.
- What is a monopolistic practice?
These are conducts of companies, professionals, traders, businesses, and individuals carried out to impede or harm the competition process. The relevant law divides these into three types of conducts:
Absolute monopolistic practices: also known as collusive practices or economic cartels. These occur when companies, instead of competing, agree to impose prices, manipulate supply and demand of goods and services, allocate or segment the market or coordinate in purchasing processes carried by the government.
Relative monopolistic practices: these occur when companies that dominate a market use this power to unduly impede that other companies enter the market or to push competitors out of the market, harming consumers with price increases or reduction of the supply of goods and services.
Unlawful concentrations: these occur when two or more companies merge with the object of gaining market power which allows them to push out or impede the entry of other competitors, thus determining prices, reducing the quality of goods or services or the supply of said goods and services, thus harming the interests of consumers.
- How do I file a complaint against a monopolistic practice?
Anyone can file a complaint against monopolistic practices or unlawful concentrations before COFECE’s Investigative Authority. A complaint must be filed in writing before the Filing Office of the Commission, compliant with requirements established by the Federal Economic Competition Law (LFCE) (available here in Spanish).
You can also report an anticompetitive practice through our website, even anonymously (in Spanish).
Or, if it were the case, report a regulatory obstacle preventing you from competing (in Spanish).
- If I live in a location other than Mexico City, what can I do to file a complaint against monopolistic practices?
If you live in a different city, you can file your complaint against monopolistic practices or unlawful concentrations at the regional offices of PROFECO. You can also use the mailbox for complaints against anti-competitive practices (in Spanish).
- What does COFECE do with fines imposed on economic agents?
Economic resources collected from fines imposed by COFECE are collected by the Federal Treasury, the authority bestowed with the authority to dispose and administer these resources.
- How long is a COFECE’s Commissioner term of office and how does the selection process take place?
The term of office of a Commissioner is 9 years.
For a person to become Commissioner of COFECE they must meet the experience and a technical profile established in the LFCE. Besides, that person shall run and compete against other candidates to the position in a contest convened by an Evaluation Committee composed of the heads of the Bank of Mexico and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography.
- How long does a COFECE investigation take?
This stage cannot be less than 30 nor exceed 120 working days. This period can be extended up to four times, each comprising the same number of days.
Once an investigation concludes, the Investigative Authority has a period no greater than 60 days to present before the Board of Commissioners a statement containing a proposal for either the closure of the file or the opening of a trial-like procedure.
After receiving the said statement, the Board of Commissioners is given 30 days to decree the closure or to order the notification of the parties who possibly violated the LFCE, so they can exercise their defense in a trial-like procedure.
- What happens after an investigation ends?
A trial-like procedure initiates
During this stage, economic agents who are accused of a practice contrary to the LFCE have the opportunity to exercise their defense against the conclusions reached by the Investigative Authority, therefore, the duration of this stage will depend upon the number of statements presented by the parties.
When the trial-like procedure concludes, the Board of Commissioners may;
- Close the file when there are no elements to determine the responsibility of the notified economic agents.
- Sanction the economic agent in the case it is considered that there are sufficient elements to determine the responsibility of the economic agents.
- What are the amounts of fines imposed by COFECE?
COFECE can impose fines or enforcement measures for several conducts or infringements to the competition law. The severest can reach 10% of the turnover of parties that collude to fix prices, manipulate supply or demand of goods and services they offer, distribute or allocate the market or coordinate in governmental public procurement, and of 8% for abuse of market power to harm competition or for unlawful concentration.
You can find out more about sanctions and enforcement measures that COFECE can impose in articles 126 and 127 of the Federal Economic Competition Law.
- Where can I find information about fines or resolutions issued by COFECE?
Fines and resolutions can be found in section Resolutions and Opinions. For updates and information on COFECE’s most relevant actions, visit our Press Office section, the Monthly Report, or our Quarterly Reports.