December 6, 2013
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.
November 14, 2013
Telefonica SA (TEF) 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 operator 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, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Banco Santander SA (SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) are working with Madrid-based Telefonica, another person said.
November 13, 2013
Telefonica 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.
November 12, 2013
Mexico’s new telecommunications watchdog said on Monday it may identify this month which companies dominate the local market, likely paving the way for tougher regulation against telecom company America Movil and broadcaster Televisa.
Gabriel Contreras, president of the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), said the watchdog would in the near future inform the companies it had determined to be dominant, adding that it could be as soon as this month.
September 11, 2013
Mexico’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.
August 2, 2013
Latin Lawyer, 7/1/2013
General overview of the telecoms regulatory scheme:
The telecommunications industry in Mexico is currently mainly regulated by: the Federal Law of Telecommunications, which regulates the use and exploitation of the radio-electric spectrum, satellite communications and telecommunications networks; and the Federal Law of Radio and Television, which regulates all matters related to broadcasting services. Such laws are complemented by several regulations, rules and resolutions that regulate specific fields in the telecommunications sector. Depending on the actual telecommunication service to be provided, a concession, permit or registration will be required.
June 27, 2013
The Huffington Post, 6/25/2013
Early 2013 saw one of the most productive one hundred days in Mexican political history and a burst of international press hype. Now, with Congress out of session, Mexico lies in wait. While the legislature has agreed to hold two special sessions in July and August to finalize details of previously agreed-upon reforms in education and telecommunications, new initiatives will be pushed off until the fall. The big ticket items to be addressed in several months are fiscal and energy reforms. In the meantime, Mexico’s stock market reached its lowest point in a year in mid-June after disappointing growth figures. Fissures have appeared in Mexico’s conservative National Action Party (PAN), an integral part of the Pact for Mexico (Pacto por Mexico) that facilitated reforms in labor, education, telecommunications, and public security. Mexico is playing the waiting game.
The legacy of President Enrique Peña Nieto, as well as Mexico’s economic growth, hinges on fiscal and energy reforms. Fiscal reforms aim to improve enforcement of existing and future regulations in order to boost the country’s tax intake. They will also increase credit levels with lower interest rates to a broader swath of Mexico’s population. In his speech at the G8 summit in Lough Erne, Peña Nieto explained that fiscal reforms will “increase overall Mexican financial system stability and, as a by-product, contribute to building a more solid, transparent, fair, and efficient international financial system.” This is a welcome change for Mexico, which, World Bank data shows, has some of the lowest rates of domestic credit to the private sector in the Americas.
June 14, 2013
Mexican regulators made progress on a plan to redefine area codes so that phone carriers such as America Movil SAB have to charge local prices instead of heftier long-distance fees. The decision would cut the number of area codes to 172 from 397, the Federal Telecommunications Commission said today in a statement. The agency altered and resubmitted the plan to the Federal Commission for Regulatory Improvement, which must sign off on it before it can become official.
Mexican officials have been seeking to reduce area codes for several years, meeting opposition from America Movil, which said previous plans were designed to favor its competitors. The phone agency is running out of time to implement the plan because it is due to be replaced by a new government body under a law signed this week by President Enrique Pena Nieto.
June 12, 2013
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim says a new Mexican telecoms law –a law that seeks to break up monopolies- won’t hurt his large telecom holding. Slim, the world’s second richest man and controlling shareholder of Latin American cellphone empire America Movil, told CNBC in an interview that he does not expect the reform will hit the company’s profits. (Slim was the world’s richest man as of the Forbes billionaires’ list in March but was recently overtaken by Bill Gates.)
“I don’t think the profitability is any problem,” Slim said. “Profitability is coming from productivity, efficiency, management, austerity, and the way to manage the business.” Despite Slim’s reassurances, investors seem concerned about the telecoms overhaul. America Movil’s shares have dropped about 15% in dollar terms since new President Enrique Pena Nieto took office on December 1, 2012.
June 11, 2013
Mexico’s president signed into law a monopoly-busting telecommunications law Monday that’s expected to drive down telephone prices for consumers and cost the country’s richest man billions of dollars. Carlos Slim, the tycoon whose America Movil SAB controls 70 percent of Mexico’s cellphone business and 80 percent of the country’s landlines, has seen his net worth plummet $5 billion since March, when the law was proposed, as investors sold off the company’s stock for fear of the law’s impact. The slump dropped Slim to second, behind Microsoft founder Bill Gates, in the competition to be the world’s richest man. The law’s implementation is likely to further undercut his business empire.
President Enrique Pena Nieto took less than three months to push the proposal through Congress, a sign of his race to obtain major changes before a broad pact of Mexico’s major political parties unravels. Moments before signing the measure into law, Pena Nieto said it would strengthen Mexican companies and favor consumers with lower prices. That, in turn, will attract foreign investment and speed economic growth, he said.