Mexico’s anti-trust watchdog files Supreme Court case against electricity reform

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Mexico’s antitrust authority on Thursday said it had filed a dispute within the Supreme Court against a government reform that aims to extend the state’s role within the power sector and which was last month suspended by a judge citing competition fears.

The proposed changes, which have drawn the ire of leading business groups in Mexico and therefore the us , were fast-tracked through Congress, where President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s ruling party and its allies hold a majority.

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) said a number of the reforms proposed by Lopez Obrador’s government prevent competition within the sector. Previously Cofece had urged the Congress to reject the reforms.

“It breaks the rule of open and non-discriminatory access to distribution and transmission networks, which reduces the power to compete surely generators and traders,” Cofece said during a statement.

The regulator also said the reforms grant undue advantages to national power utility, the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE). It also allows CFE to accumulate energy through “non-competitive methods”, Cofece said.

Cofece’s complaint within the Supreme Court is that the latest during a series of disputes between the watchdog and therefore the president over his drive to offer the state more control over the energy market.

In February, Mexico’s Supreme Court upheld a complaint by Cofece that variety of measures taken by Lopez Obrador to assist CFE were unconstitutional.

In March a judge ordered a short lived freeze to the legislation gone by Congress, and Lopez Obrador has called on the Supreme Court to settle the matter.

Since taking office on Dec. 2018, Lopez Obrador has prioritized the health of Mexico’s state-owned energy behemoths, company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), and CFE.