The National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE) in Chile filed a lawsuit against the controllers of OXXO in the Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia (TDLC) for, they say, providing false information during the acquisition of SMU’s convenience stores, OK Market.
The TDLC admitted the legal action of the FNE, which implies that the company of Mexican origin could pay sanctions for 6.4 million dollars. In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office requested the immediate application of the cessation of the exclusivity clauses that OXXO maintains with some tenants, which will be in force for a period of 10 years.
OXXO’s parent company, Femsa, explained to the DF that it is already analyzing the FNE’s request “to attend to the process with strict adherence to the law, in collaboration with the corresponding authorities and in the conviction of having always acted in good faith. We will continue complying at all times with the laws of economic competition in all the countries where we have a presence”.
On November 26, 2021, the FNE authorized the operation, accepting the mitigation measures offered by OXXO and OK Market. Those that, in the opinion of the economic authority, were effective in preventing the operation from substantially reducing competition: “they are suitable, feasible to implement, execute and monitor”, were his words.
Specifically, it was requested that of the 126 stores that were part of the acquisition, OXXO put together a divestment package of 16 points, which were acquired by Enex in January 2022. In addition, the FNE forced the resignation of the exclusivity clauses agreed in 56 signed contracts, that is, the prohibitions on the owners of shopping centers, strip centers, corporate and residential buildings, from renting premises within the building in question to other players in the retail segment convenience.
However, the problems were revealed a month later. On July 5, the FNE began an investigation to find out the buyers’ compliance status. The scrutiny revealed that some reports that were not delivered, which contained information that made it possible to quickly determine the relevant geographic market of the parties’ locations, understand the segmentation of OXXO Chile’s clients, and size the average purchase ticket of the final consumers.
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