Mexico set to send telecoms reforms to congress

20 March 2014 | Kavit Majithia


The Mexican government will send new legislation to congress this week, in a bid get the country’s telecoms laws reformed and limit the power of Carlos Slim and top broadcaster Televisa.

The shake-up is intended to cut Slim and Televisa’s share of the Mexican market to below 50%, and Emilio Gamboa – senate leader for the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party – said the secondary laws to implement the reforms to the country’s phone and television markets will be presented this week.

According to Reuters, the legislation is intended to give the country’s regulators extensive powers to have a say on pricing and discounts that telecoms companies offer.

The Federal Institute for Telecommunications (IFT) is seeking to force phone companies to attain approval from regulators for interconnection and infrastructure sharing.

Slim controls approximately 80% of the country’s fixed line business and 70% of the mobile sector, while his broadcasting company Televisa owns 60% of the TV market.

In accordance with the new reforms, the IFT will be able to order asset divestures, and Slim’s telecoms empire could be further under threat after regulators declared América Móvil and Televisa to be dominant in their respective sectors earlier this month.

Slim could be required to slash rates for rivals using América Móvil’s infrastructure and open up his fixed-line network if the reforms are passed.