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GC news | Cofece charges economic agents for potential collusion in the status and transfer of professional football players in Mexico

On May 6th, 2021, the Mexican Antitrust Commission (“Cofece”) published a press release announcing that it charged several professional football teams for alleged cartel behavior in the status and transfer of football players market.

After concluding its 2.5 year-long investigation, Cofece’s Investigating Authority (“AI”) issued a Formal Claim with which it presents charges for potential cartel agreements – also known as “absolute monopolistic practices”.

The service of process of the Formal Claim marks the beginning of a trial-like procedure, to be finally decided by the Cofece’s Board of Commissioners. During the upcoming months, those charged will have the opportunity to answer the Formal Claim and offer arguments and evidence in their defense.

Once evidence and closing statements are heard and analyzed, the trial-like procedure ends, and the Board has 40 business days to decide on this matter.

Cofece’s final decision could impose hefty fines on companies and individuals and even result in criminal complaints against involved individuals.  Cartel conduct can result in 5 to 10 years of prison time for those found guilty.

Civil damages actions may be subsequently filed using Cofece’s final resolution to prove the unlawfulness of the conduct and source of the damages caused.

At Gonzalez Calvillo, we advise many economic agents summoned in Cofece’s investigations. Our firm’s antitrust team specializes in cartel behavior cases, closely advises those affected, and identifies new opportunities.

Notable legal publications rank our Antitrust Area. Our team comprises former officials of the Cofece, including a former Commissioner and a former investigator, along with other highly specialized lawyers, having conducted studies and worked both in Mexico and abroad.

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Note To Editors

For over 30 years, Gonzalez Calvillo has been at the forefront of the legal market in Mexico as a full-service leading law firm due to its transactional core and expertise in a wide range of practice areas. The firm is recognized for its ability to build cross-disciplinary teams for the most complex legal challenges and long track record of successfully providing groundbreaking business and regulatory advice to high profile domestic and international companies. Often described as a pioneer of the Mexican legal services industry, the firm is known for its commitment to do things differently, bespoke solutions, and creating transformational legal changes that enable clients achieving their objectives.

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