Could Regulatory Changes In Mexico Signal The End For Carlos Slim’s Empire?

April 10, 2014

carlos slimForbes, 4/9/14

Carlos Slim, Latin America’s wealthiest businessman, has long enjoyed a dominant position in Mexico’s telecom sector. New rules spearheaded by the administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, however, could threaten Slim’s position in the market.

Right now Slim and his company, America Movil, have a behemoth presence in Mexico. According to The Economist, “América Móvil controls 80% of fixed-line and 70% of mobile subscriptions, giving it a massive advantage when it comes to selling internet access. Although his businesses are exceptionally profitable by global standards, the services are slow and expensive, and their uptake low, even by Latin American standards.”

Slim’s net worth is estimated at $71 billion, more than double the annual revenues generated by Mexico’s entire telecom sector. According some estimates Slim’s companies cost Mexico $129 billion over the course of four years, an amount that is equal to 2% of Mexico’s GDP.

Mexico Could Allow Carlos Slim to Bid in TV Network Tender

March 13, 2014
Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim

The Wall Street Journal, 03/12/14

The stars appear to be aligning for Carlos Slim’s ambitions to jump into the profitable Mexican TV market. The country’s new telecom regulator indicated Wednesday that the dominance of the Mexican tycoon in the phone market isn’t an obstacle for him to bid in the coming tender of two new TV broadcast networks, as long as his companies comply with measures imposed last week to boost competition in the phone market.

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Mexican Broadcasters Voice More Objections to Slim TV

February 21, 2014

Carlos SlimThe Wall Street Journal, 02/21/14

Mexico’s main television broadcasters turned up the volume Thursday in their dispute with billionaire Carlos Slim charging that agreements his company’s fixed-line unit has with satellite TV provider Dish Mexico violates the terms of its concession.

Telmex, the fix line unit of Mr. Slim’s  company America Movil has a “de facto partnership” with Dish Mexico under its billing and marketing agreement with Dish owner MVS Comunicaciones, one of the broadcasters said.

“Aside from absorbing the lion’s share of the operation and resulting investment, Telmex is offering its broadband customers ‘triple play’ by unduly packaging phone, Internet and television service,” said the country’s biggest broadcaster, Televisa.

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Slim’s Billionaire Rivalry Plays Out on Mexico’s Soccer Fields

December 11, 2013

Bloomberg, 12/11/2013

Soccer StadiumMexican billionaires Carlos Slim and Emilio Azcarraga, who typically go head-to-head for phone customers and TV viewers, are taking their rivalry to the soccer field this week in their country’s championship game.

Slim, the owner of the nation’s biggest wireless carrier, is an investor in Club Leon, which is a finalist in Mexico’s national soccer league. The team is squaring off against reigning champ Club America, controlled by TV magnate Azcarraga, in a two-game series starting tomorrow in Leon’s home stadium.

Caught in the crossfire are the legions of Mexican soccer fans who won’t be able to watch because of an agreement to televise the match only on cable for the first time. After Slim’s America Movil  acquired a stake in Leon last year, the club signed a broadcast-rights deal with cable’s Fox Sports.

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Mexico watchdog weighs if America Movil, Televisa dominate sector

December 6, 2013

Reuters, 12/6/2013

Carlos Slim

Giant Mexican telco America Movil and broadcaster Televisa, the two companies likely to be most affected by the country’s telecoms reform, said on Thursday the regulator has told them it was determining whether they are dominant players in the sector.

The notifications are the first step in a process mandated by a telecoms reform passed by Mexico’s Congress earlier this year that gives the new Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) powers to clamp down on dominant players and spur competition.

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Secondary laws for Mexico telecoms overhaul to be delayed -lawmakers

November 25, 2013

Reuters, 11/23/2013

Carlos Slim

Legislation to implement a major overhaul of Mexico’s telecommunications industry will not be approved until early next year, pushing back a deadline set for December, two senior lawmakers said on Saturday.

The secondary laws set out the fine print for a telecoms reform promulgated in June by President Enrique Pena Nieto which gives regulators sweeping powers to rein in billionaire Carlos Slim’s telecoms giant America Movil and dominant broadcaster Televisa.

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Telefonica Said to Seek Partner in Mexico to Challenge Slim

November 13, 2013

Bloomberg, 11/13/2013

carlos slimTelefonica SA  has approached potential acquisition targets and partners in Mexico, where it’s seeking to challenge billionaire Carlos Slim’s dominance, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Spain’s biggest telecommunications group has held discussions with companies including Grupo Iusacell SA, a smaller rival co-owned by Ricardo Salinas and pay-TV provider Grupo Televisa SAB, said the people, asking not to be named because the deliberations are private. Banco Santander SA and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA are working with Madrid-based Telefonica, said another person familiar with the matter.

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Mexico telecom law should cut Slim market share below 50 percent: lawmaker

October 11, 2013

Reuters, 10/10/2013

Carlos Slim

Mexico’s new telecoms reform should be able to reduce tycoon Carlos Slim’s share of the local mobile phone market to less than 50 percent in the next five years, an influential opposition lawmaker said on Wednesday. The law, broadly backed across the political spectrum in Mexico, targets Slim’s giant phone company America Movil  and rival Emilio Azcarraga’s broadcaster Televisa, powerful symbols of the power wielded by a select group of families over Latin America’s second biggest economy.

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Mexican Tycoon Carlos Slim’s Telmex Delivers Tons of Humanitarian Aid To Storm Victims in Mexico

September 25, 2013

Forbes, 9/25/2013

carlos slimTelefónos de México (Telmex), the dominant Mexican fixed-line phone carrier controlled by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, responded to the current national emergency caused  by Tropical Storm Manuel and Hurricane Ingrid with aid for thousands of victims in Mexico.  Telmex said on Monday that it has delivered 114 tons of humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of Mexicans affected by the twin storms in the Gulf and Pacific costs. In 24 of Mexico’s 31 states, towns and cities were flooded, highways and communication lines cut off, and deadly landslides set off.  More than 1 million people have been affected across the country and 50,000 have been evacuated from their homes.

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Mexico’s Senate OKs members of new telecoms regulator

September 11, 2013

Reuters, 9/11/2013

carlos slimMexico’s Senate on Tuesday approved seven nominees to head a new telecommunications regulator created by a sweeping sector overhaul that seeks to boost competition and tame billionaire Carlos Slim.

The regulator, known as Ifetel, will replace a weaker regulatory agency and have new powers to police a telecommunications market dominated by Slim’s America Movil and Televisa. America Movil controls some 80 percent of the fixed line business in Mexico and about 70 percent of its cell phone market. Televisa has more than 60 percent of the TV market.

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