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Natalie Flores

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Natalie Flores is currently the regional knowledge attorney for North America and Latin America in the Global Antitrust & Competition Group in the Firm's Mexico City Office. She has over ten years of experience as an attorney, and manages and executes regional and global legal content projects, training and client initiatives for the Competition Group within the context of the Firm's knowledge strategy across the region. Natalie oversees all regional knowledge for the antitrust and competition group for the Americas, including develop thought leadership, client training, and publications, amongst other antitrust initiatives for the region, and advises a diverse range of industry clients in multijurisdictional competition matters. She has experience in competition litigation, specifically class action. She is an active member of the Firm's various industry groups, with a focus in the Energy, Mining & Infrastructure group of Baker McKenzie. Natalie is on the Board for Mujeres en Energías Renovables (Women in Renewable Energy) en México (MERM), an association dedicated to promoting the development of women in renewable energy, and concentrates on advocating for renewables and the empowerment of women in the sector.

On 30 June 2022, the Investigative Authority of the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) published notice of the initiation of an investigation into the national market for federal passenger transport (“Market under Investigation”). The investigation is to identify, and where appropriate, determine, the existence of barriers to competition and free competition, and/or essential inputs in the Market under Investigation, which utilize terminals for passenger pick-up and drop-off, and related services.

On 22 June 2022, the Commissioners of the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) approved conducting a research study on competition in the digital financial services market. The Market Study’s purpose is to analyze the structure, operation and regulatory framework of the digital financial services sector in Mexico.
The digital financial services considered in the study include electronic payment and crowdfunding services, those offered by Financial Technology Institutions, also known as Fintech, which are regulated by the Law to Regulate Financial Technology Institutions.
According to COFECE, the Market Study is important because the financial services sector contributes a significant percentage of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, and digital financial services can also influence the financial options available to users and facilitates credit access to small and medium-sized companies.

On 31 March 2022, the Investigating Authority of the Federal Economic Competition Commission published notice of the initiation of an investigation, into the retail electronic commerce market in Mexico. The investigation is to identify, and where appropriate, determine the possible existence of barriers to free market access, barriers to the competition, and/or essential inputs, that could create anti-competitive effects in the Market Under Investigation.

On 15 February 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD) released a 30-page report titled State of Competition within the Defense Industrial Base (“Report”) surveying the state of competition across key defense sectors and laying out recommendations to spur increased competition in the defense industrial base. The Report is one of many required by numerous agencies in response to Biden’s July 2021 Executive Order.

On 23 March 2022, the Investigating Authority of the Federal Economic Competition Commission published notice of the initiation of an investigation, for the alleged vertical restrictive practices in the market of production, distribution and commercialization of domestic insecticides in Mexico.

This report offers a concise overview of a complex topic: antitrust and competition law in Latin America. The document intends to shed light on how major jurisdictions in the region are handling historic and recent key antitrust issues, including guidance documents and actions.

Two years ago, on 5 November 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the formation of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF). DOJ press releases indicated the purpose was to create a joint, collaborative interagency partnership focused on deterring, detecting, investigating, and prosecuting antitrust crimes. The Strike Force has prosecutors from 22 US Attorneys’ Offices and 7 national law enforcement partner agencies, including the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Inspectors General for multiple Federal agencies. To date, the PCSF is active in almost a quarter of US judicial districts and coordinates with many US agencies and offices.

On 30 September 2021, the President presented to the House of Representatives a Bill seeking to amend articles 25, 27 and 28 of the Constitution of the United Mexican States, in energy matters. The Bill to amend the Constitution proposes the following: (i) substantial changes in both public policies, and the regulation of the electricity and hydrocarbon industries; (ii) nationalizing the right to the exploration, use, and exploitation of lithium, and, (iii) establishing that no future concessions will be granted.

On 14 September 2021, the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the US Federal Trade Commission issued a Joint Statement on antitrust enforcement regarding collaborative relief efforts after Hurricane Ida. The Statement recognizes that collaboration among companies – even among competitors – may be necessary and beneficial to assist communities with rebuilding and relief efforts. However, the Statement also makes clear that neither agency will tolerate attempts to subvert competition laws or engage in illegal conduct under the guise of disaster recovery.

3 June 2021, the Law for Transparency, Prevention and Combating Improper Practices in Advertising Contracting (“Advertising Law”) was published in the Official Gazette1. The new Advertising Law went into effect on 1 September 2021. The Mexican Competition Authority (COFECE) issued Emergency Regulations, establishing the procedures for filing a complaint, the investigatory process, and ruling for complaints of violations under the new Advertising Law.