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Former PetroEcuador official pleads guilty in US bribery case

Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Creative Commons

A former official of state-owned oil company PetroEcuador has admitted to laundering bribe money through offshore shell companies, one of which is listed in the Panama Papers. By Kelly Swanson

Booking.com confirms agreement with CADE about price parity clauses

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Brazil’s competition enforcer has reached settlement agreements with three online travel agencies to ban the use of “wide” price parity clauses. By Janith Aranze

Mexico passes trailblazing Fintech regulation bill

Mexico is home to a fast-growing fintech industry

As Mexico becomes the first country in Latin America to pass legislation aimed at regulating the financial technology (fintech) sector, LACCA speaks to lawyers and industry experts about why this law is so important within the 21st century’s digital revolution. 

Mexico looks to Asia amid NAFTA uncertainty

Juan Carlos Zepeda, commissioner and president at the National Hydrocarbons Commission

Mexico’s long-standing dependence on the US is already being replaced with a shift to the Orient and a diversification of its energy exports, with panellists at last week’s Mexico Day in London unfazed by the prospect of a post-NAFTA era.

Movers & Shakers – 29 March

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LACCA’s latest round-up of the region’s biggest hires and promotions sees a number of major moves in the finance, outsourcing, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries.

Former PDVSA official’s attorneys say conflict of interest was “manufactured” in bribery case

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Lawyers for a former Venezuelan official charged with bribery and money laundering have hit back at an attempt by prosecutors to remove a member of the defence team. By Kelly Swanson and Adam Dobrik

Brazil probes banks on fintech

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Brazil’s competition authority has opened a preliminary inquiry into the country’s five largest banks after NuBank accused them of creating barriers to entry in the financial technology market. By Charley Connor

Technology helps Unilever cut costs in Brazilian litigation

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Unilever’s legal director for Latin America has been recognised by the consumer goods company for using technology to bring routine litigation in-house and reduce its external counsel bill by one-third. Júlio Beltrão talks to LACCA about partnering with a software developer to develop technology that benefits the in-house team.

Diageo hires legal and security director for Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil

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British alcoholic beverage company Diageo has hired Patricia Barbelli as legal and corporate security director for Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. Barbelli tells LACCA how her new role is pushing her out of her comfort zone and why a business-orientated energy is key for legal team success. 

US pharma company Merck Sharp & Dohme wins case against Ecuador

Quito

A United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) panel has issued a partial award holding that Ecuador is liable for a denial of justice in light of the treatment of US pharmaceuticals company Merck Sharp & Dohme by its courts.

Condom and catheter makers fined in Mexico

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Mexico’s competition authority (COFECE) has fined five condom and catheter suppliers 112 million pesos (US$6 million) for rigging bids in Mexico’s public health sector as part of its four-year investigation into the latex industry. By Charley Connor

Bottlemaker argues Venezuela award threatens integrity of ICSID

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An award that declined to hear a billion-dollar claim against Venezuela because it was filed after the state gave notice of its denunciation of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention represents an “egregious assault” on the integrity and legitimacy of ICSID, according to an annulment application filed by two subsidiaries of US bottlemaker Owens Illinois.

It pays to separate politics from business, TI Corruption Index shows

The region scored poorly in this year's TI report

Transparency International’s (TI) latest report shows that while the region is implementing more anti-corruption laws, a lack of confidence in government institutions and poor enforcement is stopping legislation making maximum impact.   

LACCA news in brief – 16 March

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March’s edition of news in brief looks at major movements in Mexico’s tech sector, arbitrational proceedings in Ecuador and the start of a US investigation into suspicious activity in Colombia’s cement industry.

Car manufacturers' IP case divides authorities in Brazil

The divisive case has set a new precedent in Brazil

Brazil’s competition authority has narrowly voted to dismiss a case against Volkswagen, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, ending an investigation of whether intellectual property enforcement can infringe Brazilian antitrust laws. By Charley Connor

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