The Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) is investigating public procurement procedures for the acquisition, leasing, maintenance services and managed services of information and communication technologies in Mexico.
For this purpose, the Investigating Authority of Cofece published this Wednesday the notice of initiation of the ex officio investigation, for the possible occurrence of absolute monopolistic practices in that market.
The investigation covers the purchase and/or leasing procedures of products such as desktop and laptop computers, televisions, photocopiers, computer cameras, storage equipment and related products in Mexico.
In addition, the investigation includes the contracting or purchase of information and communication technologies such as transmission services, software licensing, internet servers, as well as maintenance services and managed services related to information technologies.
Therefore, any government contracting procedure through public procurement in the market under investigation would be susceptible to be part of this investigation.
This investigation is relevant because every governmental authority, regardless of its level of government and powers, requires information and communication technologies for the exercise of its activities, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, in which many authorities had to implement remote work due to sanitary restrictions.
Absolute monopolistic practices, object of this investigation, are contracts, agreements, arrangements or combinations among competing economic agents, whose object or effect is the manipulation of prices, restriction or limitation of supply or demand, division or segmentation of markets, agreement or coordination of bids in tenders, as well as the exchange of information among them to carry out any of the above conducts.
According to the Commission‘s Strategic Plan 2022-2025, public procurement is a priority issue, given that taxpayers’ resources are used and must be allocated in an effective manner and within a competitive framework for them to maximize their purchasing capacity in the best terms for the public function.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Guidelines for Combating Bid Rigging in Public Procurement, procuring authorities lose up to 20% of their resources when there is a collusive agreement among participants in procurement procedures.