Mexican Telecom Bill Stirs Debate

drawing bar chartThe Wall Street Journal, 3/28/14

A telecom bill presented this week by President Enrique Peña Nieto to open up the market to more competition hasn’t pleased many in Mexico: longtime dominant players such as Carlos Slim’s phone company labeled some parts of the bill “confiscatory,” while the heads of the main opposition parties say it doesn’t go far enough. Conflicting views show how sensitive and controversial the subject of Mexico’s telephone and TV markets have become.

Hopes for change are high among Mexicans, who have seen Mr. Slim’s América Móvil and giant broadcaster Grupo Televisa  almost monopolizing the industries for decades. Stakes are also high for the companies, which could see their profit margins decrease. Mr. Peña Nieto’s government maintains that the proposed telecom bill is what Mexico needs to make it easier for small players and newcomers to gain market share, ultimately improving service and lower tariffs for Mexicans.

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