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MEXICO CITY - Wal-Mart de Mexico SA announced on Wednesday that it is quitting the country's supermarket trade group after it banned members from comparing prices with competitors, The Associated Press reports.
Walmex, as the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unit is also known, said the rules approved by the National Association of Supermarkets and Department Stores earlier this month would hinder free competition.
The rules approved by the group say members may not "carry out publicity campaigns based on suggesting, exhibiting or pointing out any aspect of the operations of other competitors, which causes or could cause a change in consumer preferences."
The new code includes a ban on the practice of displaying shopping carts loaded with products, comparing the total price with what they would cost in another store.
Walmex, which operates nearly 600 retail outlets in Mexico including restaurants and supermarkets, has a market share of about 50 percent in supermarkets, according to the AP. Its main rivals include Controladora Comercial Mexicana SA, Grupo Gigante SA and Organizacion Soriana SA. U.S.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. owns about 60 percent of Walmex.