December 2, 2020

The CNMC hides its top meetings with companies in the last six months

The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has practically all 2020 without publishing information on its website about the meetings (face-to-face or by videoconference) held by the members of its leadership with managers of companies and professional associations.

The omission collides with the Creation Law of the organization, whose creation law establishes in its article 37 that it must publish “the meetings of the members of the Commission with companies in the sector, provided that their publicity does not affect the fulfillment of the purposes it has. entrusted ”.

The law does not establish deadlines for disseminating these data, although when the CNMC began to disseminate this information, it promised to publish “every month the meetings that its directors and directors have held with companies during the previous month.” This reference was eventually eliminated, after it became clear that this commitment was breaking.

The last meetings that were recorded this Monday in the so-called “transparency portal“The organization dates back to January. They correspond to meetings held by its then president, José María Marín Quemada, with those responsible for the consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (on the 21st of that month), the multinational Google and the Swiss group Six, ultimately new owner from the Spanish Stock Market (January 14), as well as the energy company Redexis and Telefónica (one day earlier) and Adif (January 7).

Information on other members of the plenary is even older. The last meeting on record is one of the director Xabier Ormaetxea with PWC executives in Bilbao on November 22, 2019; and another on the eve of that day of the counselor Pilar Canedo with Athletic Bilbao and the Spanish Football Federation.

In recent months, there have been recent meetings of the CNMC’s general directors with entities such as AEGE (the Association of Large Energy Consumers, in June), and in May, with Banco Santander, Correos, the CEOE employers, Red Eléctrica or Cisco Systems, among others.

Internal sources of the agency confirm that in recent months several directors have held meetings with companies and sector associations that have been communicated to the entity’s General Secretariat, but have not been published.

Official sources of the entity that Cani Fernández has chaired for a few weeks point out that the information on these meetings “is going to be published”, including that corresponding to those held in recent months by telematic means as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has led the body to announce investigations to sectors such as banking, that of funeral homes or that of gel manufacturers for possible abuses.

The same sources indicate that different changes to its website to improve accessibility have prevented updating that information until now.

“As transparent as possible”

The organization indicates on its website that “citizens can and should expect that the CNMC’s decision-making process is as transparent as possible. The greater the openness, the easier it is to guarantee balanced action and avoid abusive pressures and access illegitimate or privileged both to information and to decision-makers. ”

“The CNMC is clear that only showing everything it does, and, once the limitations that the Law must safeguard, have been respected, it will deserve the legitimacy it seeks and, more importantly, the trust of society in this Institution. Transparency it is, therefore, a key element to promote the active participation of citizens in the defense of competition and efficient economic regulation. ”

This Monday, the BOE published the new composition of the two rooms in which the CNMC dome is organized after the recent renovation of the plenary session. Carlos Aguilar and Josep Maria Salas have joined the Competition Room, chaired by Cani Fernández. For her part, Pilar Sánchez, who also took office on June 19, has joined the Regulatory Supervision Chamber, whose president is the new vice president of the organization, Ángel Torres.


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