Mexico City, October 1st, 2019.
On September 30, 2019 the Regulatory Provisions (“RP”) of the Federal Economic Competition Commission for the assessment of information that stems from legal advice provided to economic agents, were published in the Federal Official Gazette and entered into force.
The RP regulate the rules for processing communications between those involved in proceedings carried out by the Federal Economic Competition Commission (“FECC”) and their lawyers, when such communications are intended to provide legal advice. In terms of the RP, the FECC will neither take into consideration such communications nor regard them as evidence.
The RP contemplate the formation of Assessment Committees that will consist of members who will be independent of officials involved in the proceeding that is being dealt with and who must keep secret the information to which they may have access.
They also contemplate a mechanism for requesting the protection of the corresponding information. On the one hand, any person may request the FECC to protect the information they may have provided and, on the other hand, when during an investigation or proceeding, an official has access to information that may be subject to protection, he/she must take measures to safeguard and protect it. In the case of inspections, the person subjected to the inspection may, upon its conclusion, request the assessment of the information in each file or document obtained by the FECC during the inspection.
If the Assessment Committee determines that the request is well-founded: (i) in the case of physical information, it will order that the information be returned to the applicant; (ii) in the case of an electronic file obtained during an inspection, it will order that such file be excluded from the proceeding and will state this in a written decision.
The Competition and Antitrust Practice of the firm will be pleased to provide any additional information on the topic.