Decision reached on $1 billion Telcel fine

Mexico’s competition watchdog has said that it has reached a decision on whether to uphold a fine of almost $1 billion against Carlos Slim’s Mexican mobile operator, Telcel.

The country’s competition commission Cofeco ordered the sanction in April 2011 having concluded that Telcel charged its rivals in the country excessive prices to connect to its network.

The fine was the highest the commission could levy, which equates to approximately 10% of Telcel’s assets, having considered the company to be a repeat offender. Cofeco had been asked tasked with deciding whether to uphold, modify or drop the fine, after Telcel challenged the ruling.

Telcel dominates Mexico’s mobile market with a 70.2% market share as of December 2011. The operator’s closest rivals Telefónica owned Movistar Mexico and Iusacell lag significantly behind, with a 21.1% and 4.8% market share respectively during the same period.

Cofeco said it was notifying affected parties of its decision and would reveal details of the ruling in the coming days.