December 23, 2014 / 7:00 PM / 4 years ago

Mexico's Cultiba says aiding in antitrust sugar probe

MEXICO CITY, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Mexican Pepsi bottler Cultiba said on Tuesday it will cooperate with a government investigation into possible monopolistic practices in the production, distribution and sale of sugar in Mexico.

Cultiba, which controls Grupo Azucarero Mexico, one of the country’s biggest sugar producers, said in a statement that the Federal Competition Commission (Cofece) had requested information and documents linked to the investigation.

“Cultiba will be working with Cofece and gathering the information that was requested to support (Cofece) in its investigation,” the company said.

Cofece could not be reached for immediate comment.

In December 2013, Cofece announced it had started an investigation into the local sugar market because of signs of possible deals among sugar companies in Mexico to fix, manipulate or set prices.

Last week, Mexico and the United States finalized a deal to end a months-long sugar dispute after U.S. sugar producers earlier this year filed a claim saying that cheap, subsidized sugar from Mexico was flooding the U.S. market.

Mexico is one of the biggest suppliers of sugar to the United States. (Reporting by Gabriela Lopez; Writing by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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