August 22, 2019 / 11:38 PM / a month ago

Mexico fines Cancun airport $3.7 million over taxi monopoly

MEXICO CITY, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Mexico's competition regulator said on Thursday it fined the airport at tourist hot spot Cancun $3.7 million for blocking new taxi operators, which it said reduced competition and effectively overcharged millions of passengers.

Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) , the Mexican company that runs the Cancun airport along with 15 others across Latin America, said it will challenge the ruling and the 72.5 million pesos fine.

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) said that from 2010 to at least 2018, the airport gave mostly negative assessments to taxis wishing to operate at the Cancun airport, preventing them from receiving federal permits.

"By being the only entity that can lease and grant spaces for taxi access... (the airport) took various actions to prevent new participants from offering said service," Cofece said in a statement.

As a result of the airport's moves to limit the market, fares were marked up about 8% on average for several million trips.

The regulator did not name any of the taxi operators that were blocked from the Cancun airport. ($1 = 19.8203 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon Editing by Leslie Adler)

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