Mexico Telecom Bill Returns to Senate With Small Wording Change

shutterstock_124592293Bloomberg, 4/26/13

Mexico’s lower house sent a bill to increase competition in telecommunications back to the Senate, paving the way for tougher regulators to challenge the dominance of America Movil SAB and Grupo Televisa SAB. The proposal, also backed by President Enrique Pena Nieto, must be approved a second time by the Senate because of a small change in wording in the lower house version of the bill. Then it requires the signoff of a majority of legislatures in Mexico’s 31 states and capital. Under the bill, new government agencies would have the power to force companies that control more than 50 percent of the market to share or even sell assets.

Lawmakers aim to increase investment and reduce prices in the phone and pay-television industries and to create more choice in broadcast TV. The proposal would create tougher conditions for America Movil, which has 70 percent of Mexico’s mobile-phone subscribers, and Televisa, which gets 70 percent of the nation’s broadcast-television audience.

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