After a ten-month investigation of Wal-Mart, Mexican antitrust officials have imposed a code of conduct on the company and other large supermarket chains.
The Mexican Federal Competition Commission (CFC) launched the investigation last May to determine whether Wal-Mart was using its market power to pressure suppliers into providing prices substantially lower than those available to other retailers (after accounting for reasonable volume discounts). Wal-Mart owns nearly 600 stores in Mexico and controls half of the country’s grocery store sales.
CFC officials said they found evidence that Wal-Mart had violated antitrust laws, but not enough to pursue further legal action.
The code of conduct will govern the behavior of food retailers and suppliers. It will apply to Wal-Mart and other major supermarket chains. A similar code adopted in Britain last year has been called a failure by farm groups (see “Britain to Review Supermarket Merger” above).
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