Mexico City – Mexico's Federal Competition Commission, or CFC, has imposed fines totaling 13.7 million pesos ($1 million) on four cargo transport companies and four ex-government officials in Baja California Sur state for engaging in or promoting monopolistic practices.
The firms colluded to set prices for shipments of cargo, mainly cement; restrict supply; and divvy up the customers that each company could exclusively serve, the CFC said in a statement.
By unanimous vote, the CFC found that "that conduct constituted violations of the federal economic competition law."
According to the regulator, the companies received the backing of members of the previous Baja California Sur government, who even "encouraged them to engage in absolute monopolistic practices and saw that they were carried out."
In doing so, those authorities failed to use the legal mechanisms at their disposal to prevent collusion among the transport firms, the CFC said.
Alianza de Transportistas La Paz, Operadora Logistica Geos, Baja Ferries and Sindicato Unico de Transportistas Hombre Camion de Baja California Sur were fined for the market-rigging.
Fines also were imposed on former state government officials Benigno Valencia Sanchez, Humberto Rayas Cardona, Daniel Ruano Baqueiro and Guillermo Sanchez Flores.
The chairman of the CFC, Eduardo Perez Motta, said in the statement that these cases serve as a warning for state governments "so they do not contribute to the promotion of anti-competitive arrangements that affect the consumers they are obligated to serve."